BUSAN, South Korea — The annual exodus for Chuseok began yesterday with millions of South Koreans heading to their hometowns ahead of the traditional holiday this week.
One of the two major traditional holidays in the country, Chuseok, or the major harvest festival, sees families getting together in their hometowns, close and far, to give thanks and pay tribute to their ancestors by preparing a meal and visiting their graves. The other such holiday is the Lunar New Year.
Chuseok, or Korean thanksgiving, is celebrated on Aug. fifteenth in the lunar calendar, which falls on Thursday this year.
During the holiday this year, some thirty-five million people are expected to visit their hometowns by car, bus, train or plane, with the daily number of migrating people to reach some five million, according to data by the government.
As the holiday period is longer than in past years — five days from Wednesday — travelers are likely to experience better traffic conditions than the usual holiday traffic nightmares, it added.
Standstills have been reported on most expressways and national highways connecting Busan and Gyeongnam.
Gyeongbu expressway is flowing better than others, while the only reported area of congestion is the Eonyang interchange.
The Korea expressway corporation stated there are more departing vehicles in Busan, causing expressways around Gyeongnam to be at a near standstill all day long.
Source: Busan eFM News