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Innovative Spring Festival staycations planned

By WANG YING in Shanghai and MA ZHENHUAN in Hangzhou| China Daily| Updated: February 10, 2021 L M S

Range of activities provided for workers not traveling home

Shen Fei, a delivery worker from Luoyang, Henan province, is busy during his spare time preparing a special Spring Festival gala for his fellow workers.

Instead of joining the annual travel rush to return home for family reunions during the holiday, the workers are remaining in Shanghai.

"Many of my colleagues have opted to stay in the city this year due to the pandemic, so I decided to organize this gala and invite them to perform," said Shen, 50, who joined the online catering platform Eleme in Shanghai in 2018.

He said the gala would feature singing to both guitar and piano accompaniment, a talk show, dancing, martial arts, and poetry and literature recitals.

The gala will be recorded before Lunar New Year's Eve, which this year falls on Thursday, and the footage will be posted online.

Dubbed "the greatest annual human migration on Earth", the 40-day Spring Festival travel rush usually sees billions of trips made nationwide for family reunions.

However, due to the pandemic, people have been urged to avoid unnecessary travel during the holiday period this year.

In recent years, some 3 billion passenger trips have been made during the Spring Festival holiday travel season, which this year runs from Jan 28 to March 8.

Wu Chungeng, an official with the Ministry of Transport, said the number of trips made this year would fall by as much as 60 percent compared with 2019.

Ahead of the holiday, while Shen makes food deliveries near bustling East Nanjing Road in Shanghai, Zhou Yan is busy planning a program for young people to gain a better understanding of the city during Spring Festival.

"On Sunday, we will bring together teenagers, other young people and families to start a three-day hike exploring Shanghai's urban areas. Our destinations include city blocks with distinctive architecture and historic buildings," said Zhou, a Shanghai native who, with her husband, runs a regeneration business specializing in old properties.

She said most of those on the hike would be from other areas of the country who have decided to remain in Shanghai for Spring Festival as the nation battles the spread of COVID-19.

"We organized a similar five-day trip around the city in late January, and participants were surprised that although they had lived in Shanghai for quite a while, they were able to discover the splendor of the city's architecture, as well as its rich history and culture," Zhou said.

Both Zhou and Shen are attempting to make Spring Festival more interesting for nonlocals who choose to remain in areas where they work.

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