Snow Freezes Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations

Heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures before the Spring Festival, the peak of Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, stranded Chinese travelers.

Thousands of cars were stranded on highways across China due to snow that disrupted travel nationwide during the peak of the Lunar New Year celebrations. A regional official stated Monday evening to state-run broadcaster “CCTV” that around 4,000 vehicles were stranded due to icy conditions.

Heavy snowfall and unusually severe frost in central China led to long traffic jams, in addition to train and flight cancellations during the peak travel season leading up to the Spring Festival.

The Wuhan Airport, capital of Hubei Province, temporarily closed its runways several times due to weather conditions. Some flights and train services were canceled, leading to travelers being stranded and delayed for hours.

According to official reports, the provinces of Henan, Hubei, and Hunan were severely affected. Official Chinese television showed footage on Tuesday of road workers clearing snow from highways, as heavy snowfall led to the closure of many expressways.

Government television reported that some travelers remained stranded on highways for up to 10 hours.

Winter weather also affected railway operations and air travel. Dozens of train services at the Wuhan railway station were canceled due to ice and snow. The capital’s airport temporarily closed its runways on Tuesday.

Weather agencies in the country warned of heavy snowfall and severe winter weather before the Spring Festival, which falls on February 10 this year.

Heavy snowfall, uncommon for central China, is expected to continue until Wednesday.

Millions of Chinese people return to their hometowns to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which falls on Saturday, and families traditionally gather for dinner on Lunar New Year’s Eve.

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