Millions in China journey home for Lunar New Year

Millions in China are boarding trains, planes and automobiles in the travel rush ahead of Friday's Lunar New Year.

The world's largest seasonal human migration actually begins a few weeks before China's most important traditional festival, as people either return to their hometowns or flock to vacation destinations.

The state railway operator reported Monday that 98.8 million passengers rode trains countrywide during the first 12 days of February. China's official Xinhua news agency said more than 1.1 million were expected to pass through railway stations in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday alone.

Travel agency Ctrip and the China Tourism Academy also found more than 6.5 million will head overseas.

Increasing numbers of Chinese have been traveling abroad in recent years, reflecting rising prosperity among the urban middle class.