Lunar year is approaching in couple days, when I drove on the road during these day, it is such a good driving experience, almost half of people in Beijing has left, so no much traffic jam any more, this is the good side, and what compromise here is you would not have convenient service any more, such as food delivery, and domestic delivery service. Take a look for this custom.
Every year, when lunar year coming, more than 100 million people migrate back and forth between first tier city and their home in small village or city during 1 month. The public transportation system , especially for train , is under extreme stress, some people even choose to drive home with family on the motorcycle, usually more than 1000 thousand driving,
Most none native people can not understand why not they just celebrate the new year in where they live now, there are two reasons here, first one is the tradition, which means gathering is the most important thing for all family members by the end of the year, especially for the family with elder people, all their descendants are supposed to gather around them, otherwise, there will be ethical blame for the young people.
The second reason is the registered permanent residence system in China, AKA ‘HuKou’, which means if you born in place A, all your legal relation and social relation would be bound with place A, and you can not migrate freely to other place, technically you surely can move to other place to work, but you can not get social assurance there, and you are not entitled with any social benefit there, ex, your children can not go to school, covered by medical insurance,etc. So you have to go back your home place for such things.
So if you are born in first tier city such as Beijing, you are entitled with lots of social welfare which a lot of people from other areas would make their effort for entire life to fight for, it is unfair indeed, I know in US, if one live in a state more than half years, then he can claim the same right with all the other people in the state.
There are ‘shortcut ’ to walk around the restriction, but it is very hard for most people
- one is to go to college in that city, and achieve top score, then find a job after you graduate in the state own company, which can help you change you registered permanent residence, but usually, you should promise more than 5 years of service to exchange.
- The other way to get the right is to marry a local people, waiting 15 years, you can apply the permanent residence right without other strings.
Authority have realized this migration problem caused by the system, and forge some new regulation to help this large group of people, but it is still a long way to go.
It seems I am off the topic again, in short, all Chinese people would make their way to go home, almost all the commercial would out of service during the lunar festival, Chinese people finally got to rest for a while, you know, most Chinese employees do not have annual leave or other holiday vacation, so they take more serious for the new year festival.
REF: Chinese Culture Custom I for hair cut