1.3 Billion People Are on the Move — Traffic Is in Chaos
Packed Guilin Railway Station
It seems the whole nation is on the move during the festival. The festival is thebusiest travel season in China, when trains and buses are fully packed. Even flight tickets are hard to get.
Chinese people do whatever they can to go home to see their families: buying a ticket from scalpers at several times the price, queuing for three days, fightingfor a ticket to stand for more than 20 hours in an over-packed train, or riding a bus with 20 extra passengers on stools down the aisle for 12 hours or more.
China's migrant workers are the main force during this migration. They carry large and heavy bags full of their worldly possessions and gifts, traveling generally from China's rich east back to their hometowns.
A Rough Time for Singles — Rent a Fake Boyfriend?
Chinese New Year is a joyful time for most, but for singles above the normal matrimonial age it is not so. Parents and relatives think they should be settled down.
In China, females are said to be marriageable before 30, and males before 32. Those who don't get married before these ages are thought to be the dregs of society.
For these singles, parents are extremely anxious. So New Year's Eve is heighted by embarrassing interrogations of the singles. Parents even arrange dating for their single children.
To solve this problem an interesting, and often ridiculous, solution has appeared — renting a boyfriend or girlfriend for the New Year. There are websites and agents specialized in this business. Taobao, China's largest online retailer, has a section for fake boyfriend and girlfriend rentals. The price is about 100 yuan (16 USD) a day.
Sending Lucky Chinese New Year Cell Phone Messages
Sending cell phone messages has become the main way to greet people on Chinese New Year's Eve. In the past people sent New Year cards or called each other to express their good wishes during the Spring Festival. Now most people use cell phone text messages or WeChat (微信 Wēixìn /way-sshin/) to greet their friends.
There are plentiful messages online for people to choose from when New Year is coming. Long or short, these messages are filled with warmth and good wishes.