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Lunar New Year Beckons Chinese Travelers Home

Passengers wait to board trains at Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station as the annual Spring Festival travel rush begins ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, in Shanghai, China, Jan. 13, 2017.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese travelers were packing airports, train and bus stations Friday as they headed home for Lunar New Year celebrations.

Officials expect that Chinese travelers will make almost 3 billion trips during the holiday travel rush that starts Friday and runs through February 21. These trips include intercity flights, trains and local bus rides to villages for China’s 1.4 billion people.

Each year, it represents the world’s largest seasonal migration of people as families reunite for China’s most important traditional holiday. Also known as Spring Festival, it falls on January 28 this year.

Travelers lugging large bags were rushing into the Beijing Railway Station Friday morning to catch trains home.

Su Wenqi, a college student in Beijing, was lining up to catch a train headed to the northeastern city of Harbin. She said she was looking forward to reuniting with family.

“My parents and relatives are back at home and you feel safe at home, so I must go back,” Su said. “After a busy year, I really miss them.”