Spring Festival is another name given to the Chinese New Year Holiday period. As you’re probably aware, the traditional Chinese calendar follows the lunar cycle. This means the turn of the year can occur at differing dates each year, usually around late January or early-mid February. With this in mind, here are a few key Spring Festival 2020 dates for you to add into your calendar.
Spring Festival 春节: Jan 25th
Lantern Festival 元宵节: Feb 8th
With all those people on the move back to their respective hometowns, to say China’s transport links get busy would be a huge understatement. The Spring Festival travel rush is the largest human migration on the planet, with nearly three billion journeys made during the holiday season in 2019. Here are some key facts to consider if you’re thinking about joining the masses and having a Spring Fest trip of your own:
•The travel rush tends to last around 40 days,
from early Jan to early-mid Feb)
•Tickets are on sale 30 days before your intended date of travel
•Tickets for Spring Festival Eve are already on sale
•Don’t buy tickets from huangniu (黄牛) – ticket scalpers. There’s a lot of them around at this time of year, and there’s a big chance you’ll end up with fake tickets.
We’ve established there are a whole lot of train journeys going on during the Spring Festival rush. Turns out there are a lot of types of trains to choose from too (well, unless you’ve left your ticket booking too late). Here’s some of the types to look out for:
G – Gaotie 高铁 –
High-speed electric multiple units(EMU) train
C – Chengji 城际 – Intercity EMU
D – Dongche 动车 – Electric Multiple Units (EMU)
Z – Zhida 直达 – Direct Express
T – Tekuai 特快 – Express
K – Kuaiche 快车– Fast
Most people go for G/C/D trains because of the high speed and great service.
As a bunch of foodies,it’s only right we give you an idea of what to look out for when it comes to eating on your travels. Hefan literally means ‘box lunch’ in Chinese, and it’s what you’ll commonly see being sold and eaten on long train journeys. It’s pretty self-explanatory – a hot (or lukewarm) lunch in a box.
While the ‘hefans’ have their merits – they’re hot and easily available – ordering takeaway in the station to take on the train is a decent (and probably better tasting) option too. Snacks, water, beer and soft drinks are usually available on the trains too, but you’ll a wider and cheaper choice if you pick a few things up before boarding.
Here’s a few handy resources you can read to learn more about Spring Festival and the travel rush that comes with it. Happy travelling!
Chinese Spring Festival
Date and Duration of CHUNYUN
Different kinds of trains in China
Over 25 Million Flights Blocked by China’s Social Credit System This Year