Sunday, February 18, 2007

Why so many Chinese go home during Spring Festival

   Chinanews, Beijing, Feb. 17 – Every year, whenever Spring Festival (Lunar New Year) arrives, a lot of Chinese people cannot wait to go home. They queue for long hours in front of the ticket offices in railway stations, or do whatever they can in order to get a ticket. They tolerate the long journey on the train only to have a family reunion with their near and dear ones. Several days ago, the Beijing Youth Daily Social Investigation Center carried an investigation to 5,000 people online. The survey shows that most people regard buying a ticket home as the most important thing during the Spring Festival holiday. 33.2% of the people say what they fear most now is that they can’t get a ticket to go home. Why is Spring Festival so important to Chinese people?
The Beijing Youth Daily recently published an editorial on this question. According to the editorial, most Chinese celebrate the Spring Festival not only because they want to follow tradition, there are also some practical reasons to explain Chinese people’s fever for the big holiday. Compared with one’s workplace, home provides a more humane environment for one to relax oneself.
Society may do with or without you, but at home, you become unique and indispensable. You may be the father or mother, daughter or son, grandfather or grandmother in the family and the family will be incomplete if anyone is absent, because every member in the family is bound together by the ties of kinship, and everyone in the family is pleased with the feeling that he or she is unique and irreplaceable.
In addition, family provides an ideal environment for one to fully relax oneself. At home, one can take one’s time do whatever he or she wants, and one can spend money whenever one likes. In society, however, one needs to do everything fast and with high efficiency, because time is money, and society always pursues efficiency and maximum profits. Such company ethics make people merely a tool in modern society.
Chinese people’s deep yearning for Spring Festival demonstrates that they feel oppressed and have a sense of predicament of existence in modern society. The Spring Festival provides a chance for them to escape from such anxiety and cherish the long-lost tradition of community spirit. With the Spring Festival, people can find back the warm, family atmosphere often seen in days gone by.

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