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posted on 05 February 2017

How Chinese New Year Compares With Thanksgiving

by Felix Richter,

-- this post authored by Niall McCarthy

Hundreds of millions of people across China have been celebrating the arrival of the New Year, or Spring Festival as the holiday is known locally.

It's an absolutely huge event, considered the largest annual migration of not just people, but any mammal. To gauge the sheer scale of the Spring Festival, it's interesting to compare it to something huge by American standards - Thanksgiving.

Sure, the gulf in population will always afford China an unfair advantage in any comparison, but it's a good way to give these numbers some kind of perspective. According to data released by Bloomberg, Chinese people undertake 2.8 billion trips during their new year celebrations compared to 46.3 million for Americans during Thanksgiving. People in the United States spend legendary amounts of money at Thanksgiving, somewhere in the region of $50 billion. The Chinese love a shopping frenzy too, and spend about twice that during the new year festivities.

Both nations love watching TV during the holidays. 32 million Americans tune in for the nation's biggest football game at Thanksgiving. If you think that's impressive, check out the viewing figures for the Spring Festival Gala broadcast on Chinese State television. That brings in somewhere in the region of 700 to 800 million viewers!

This chart provides key numbers regarding Thanksgiving in the US and Spring Festival in China.

Infographic: How Chinese New Year Compares With Thanksgiving | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista.

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