2015-02-03          LNY "Hajj" has begun  (written on CX640 from Doha to HK!)


A kind reader some time ago pointed out that Chinese New Year should not be called Lunar New Year because the Chinese calendar is more solar than lunar. But LNY is like "sunrise". Common usage is not going to change to "earthrise". So please excuse me for using LNY.

The movement of Mainland families back to their home towns for LNY is the world's largest annual migration of people. It is sometimes called the LNY Hajj because it is like the annual pilgrimage of devout Muslims to Mecca.

I have often seen some of the hundreds of millions of Chinese on the Mainland who are on the move at this time of the year. But last week at Dar Es Salaam airport as I began my journey back to HK, I experienced another aspect of the LNY Hajj.

I saw dozens of Mainland Chinese returning to China after another year of work on projects in Africa. And I realised that the LNY Hajj is also the world's largest annual international movement of people. I wish all LNY travellers "safari njema" (that's Swahili for "bon voyage")!