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7.1 mln rail trips on first day of holiday

(Xinhua)

10:16, June 24, 2012

BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Railways said Saturday that the country's railways record over 7.1 million passenger trips on the first day of the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday that runs from June 22-24.

On Friday, the ministry added 231 provisional passenger trains to cope with the travel rush. And it estimated 5.4 million passenger trips on Saturday, with 230 passenger trains added to the rail network.

About 5.9 million passenger trips were made on Thursday, a jump of nearly 1 million from Wednesday, and 298,000, or a 5.3-percent increase, from last year, according to the ministry.

On Thursday, passenger volumes of Jinan Railway Bureau and Qinghai-Tibet Railway Co. increased the most, up 23.8 percent and 17.4 percent, respectively, from the same period last year.

The Shanghai Railway Bureau saw the biggest passenger volume, recording 1.1 million trips on the day. Tourist cities including Beijing, Tianjin and Wuhan all saw high rail-traffic volumes.

The Dragon Boat Festival, also called Duanwu Festival, is traditionally celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar.

The festival commemorates the famous ancient Chinese poet Qu Yuan. Chinese people prepare and eat zongzi, or leaf-packed glutinous rice dumplings, drink wine and race dragon boats on the day.

The festival falls on June 23 this year.

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