BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- At the Bulungkol police station bordering Tajikistan, police officer Bruhan has volunteered to stay on duty on Lunar New Year's Eve for fix consecutive years.
The station, located in China's western frontier, serves some 3,400 people scattered across 3,700 square km. The nearest city is about 150 km away. Patrolling the most remote residential area in the station's jurisdiction requires a day-long walk.
When festivals come, Bruhan and his colleagues are tasked with bringing fruit, tea and other necessities to low-income families in the station's jurisdiction.
"It's a tacit understanding that we stick to our posts during Spring Festival while our Han (Chinese ethnic majority group) colleagues take shifts during the Corban Festival. We all make sacrifices for others," said Bruhan, who is of the Uygur ethnicity.
As most Chinese greeted the dawn of the Year of Snake with their families at home, countless numbers of people like Bruhan embraced the new year by staying on duty.
To ensure the safe operation of the world's fastest railway, which links the cities of Harbin and Dalian in northeast China, technician Wang Yong stayed awake all night during Lunar New Year's Eve to provide maintenance for five CRH380B high-speed trains.
Since the trains run in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius, Wang and his colleagues at CNR Changchun Railway Vehicle Co., Ltd. have to spend roughly two hours maintaining each incoming train in Changchun, the capital of Jilin Province.
The 65 technicians share one commitment -- to make sure all high-speed trains depart with zero faults.
"Since passenger traffic volume rockets during Spring Festival, trains wear down easily. We have to be extremely alert for glitches," said Wang.
"Parting with our families is worth it because our job concerns the safety of thousands of people," said Wang.
In Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China, bus driver Chen Jinru ate leftover dumplings from the previous evening's New Year's Eve dinner in a bus terminal at 8 a.m. the next day.
Chen had already logged two hours of work that day before finding time to fill his empty stomach.
"Bus drivers can never enjoy normal holidays because our job is to serve others. I am used to this and there is nothing to complain about," he said.
In Beijing, after the fireworks climaxed at midnight and most residents went to bed, sanitation workers went to work in the cold one hour later.
A sanitation worker surnamed Duan said sanitation work would continue until 6 a.m. in order to remove all the debris from the spent fireworks.
Gao Qing, deputy chief of Beijing's Fire Police Command Center, said all fire departments had shifted to "top-degree operational readiness" for New Year's Eve.
"Our job is to make an all-out effort to cope with fire emergencies and make sure people can greet the new year with sound sleep," he said.
Since the fireworks will last until the first full moon of the first lunar month, medical workers, firefighters and sanitation workers will likely continue to have their hands full.
Power companies have also been running full-tilt to keep up with demand for electricity. Chinese custom dictates that evil spirits are dispelled not only by fireworks, but also ordinary lights, leading many Chinese families to turn on all the lights in their homes in hopes of having a lucky new year.
In the city of Macheng in central China's Hubei Province, electricians rushed to the village of Doupo to repair a transformer after 20 households reported power outages to the city's power supply company.
With 400,000 migrant workers returning home for Spring Festival Macheng saw its domestic electricity consumption hit a record high of 212,000 kilowatts on Saturday, up 10.1 percent from the same day last year.
When an emergency crew replaced fuses on the dead transformer in Doupo, villager anxiously waited nearby. Fifteen minutes later, lights were on amid cheers from the waiting residents.
"Chinese love to lights up their rooms during the Spring Festival. We have gotten used to restoring power on New Year's Eve," said Chen Yingshi, a worker who supervised the repairs in Doupo.
"If the government could spend more on power infrastructure in rural and less-developed regions in the coming year, I think I could retire with ease on next year's New Year's Eve," he said.
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