(The Guardian, 2013) Lunar New Year Celebrations in Beijing.
Millions are gathering across China to celebrate the Lunar New Year the country’s largest national holiday. Also known as the Spring Festival celebrations begin from the first day of the first month of the lunar year and end with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day (The Guardian, 2013).
The celebrations result in the largest mass migration on Earth as family tradition ensures millions of migrant workers across the country return home for the festivities. For many this holiday can be the only break from relentless work patterns throughout the year. An estimated 200 million people travel to reach family (BBC,2013) making the travel experience exceptionally difficult, such inconveniences are being alleviated by a multitude of products from China’s innovative entrepreneurs. The majority travel by train for potentially days at a time in difficult, cramped and even painful conditions. Products introduced include the “body supporter” which allows passengers to sleep in a comfortable position during cramp conditions, hundreds have been sold within the last month (BBC, 2013). Also the unique “mask pillow” and urine bags have been big sellers.
The mask pillow (BBC, 2013).
The shockingly challenging conditions of travel highlight the importance of family and tradition to Chinese society. The substantiated changes in labour structure, through the migrant worker system alongside the difficulties of moving across a vast region in such high numbers are yet to deteriorate traditional values which remain prominent and integral across China.
BBC News ‘Chinese New Year: Quirky gadgets ease getaway pain’: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-21334002
The Guardian ‘In Pictures: Lunar New Year Celebrations: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/gallery/2013/feb/09/lunar-new-year-in-pictures#/?picture=403774923&index=2