Last week marked the beginning of Chinese New Year, the biggest holiday of the year in China. It is such a big holiday that children are out of school for a month. It has been dubbed the largest human migration in the world, with billions of people returning to their hometowns or visiting family and friends. The train stations are packed with people; standing room only for hours on end. There have been miles and miles of traffic jams in recent years, some so slow and long that they have lasted for days.
The migration is an inevitability for the Chinese. It's like Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthdays and anniversaries all in one. You MUST go home to celebrate. And celebrate they do! Days and days of firecrackers, gorging on food, music, dragon and lion dances, laughter, gift giving (especially money) and visiting with friends and family.
Chinese New Year is celebrated by Chinese, and other Asian cultures, around the world. From Vietnam to the United States, from Taiwan to Indonesia, from Malaysia to South Korea, from Singapore to Brunei. For those who want a little taste of Chinese New Year, New York City's Chinatown, and Chinatowns across the U.S., the celebrations are joyful and exciting. Check it out sometime. Or better year, get to China!