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China's annual Lunar New Year migration is under way
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Hundreds of millions of Chinese will take trains, buses, boats and cars as they journey home to celebrate Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, which falls on February 10 this year.

Spring Festival is the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar and many people travel for days to reach their families living in far-flung parts of the country. 

The massive movement of people puts a huge strain on the country's transport infrastructure as migrant workers laden with bags of gifts, food and clothes cram into trains and buses, while cars clog the country's highways during the 40-day travel season. 

For many people, the Spring Festival is their only chance during the year to see their families.

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Travellers arrive at Beijing Railway Station on January 27. The world's largest annual migration is under way in China, with tens of millions of people travelling across the country to celebrate Lunar New Year with their families.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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Chinese New Year travellers wait for their train at Beijing West Railway Station on January 31.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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Travellers at Beijing West Railway Station make their way to a waiting train bound for the southwestern city of Chongqing, a journey of 32 hours.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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A crowded train bound for the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, a journey of 32 hours from Beijing.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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Passengers sleeping during the 32-hour journey from the Chinese capital of Beijing to Chongqing in the southwest.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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Chinese New Year travellers at the Baoding railway station, south of Beijing, board a train bound for the southwestern city of Chongqing.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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A baby sleeps in the arms of woman at Beijing Railway Station on January 27.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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An elderly woman lying on a stretcher prepares to take a train at Beijing Railway Station on January 28.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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