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Chinese rush overseas for Spring Festival


08:52, December 22, 2011

BEIJING - Yang Jing and her husband are just a month away from their dream honeymoon in Bali. They will spend the upcoming Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year, in the tropical island.

They plan to spend 20,000 yuan ($3,165) on the trip, an "acceptable" expense for the couple who both work at public institutions in Taiyuan, capital of the northern province of Shanxi.

"The island has great sea views, and it's more convenient to go there this year because there is a new direct flight from Taiyuan," said 26-year-old Yang.

She and her husband are just one of the many Chinese couples who have chosen to travel abroad during the lunar new year, traditionally observed through family reunions.

Spring Festival, to be observed in mid-January this year, is the most important holiday period in China. Traditionally the Chinese would return home to dine with the whole family on New Year's Eve, the last day of the Chinese lunar calendar.

However, many families now use the holidays to go abroad for new holiday experiences.

The trend reflects a change in people's attitudes toward the homecoming tradition. They now focus more on the holiday experience, says Li Jianxin, an assistant professor of tourism management at Beijing International Studies University.

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