Chinese officials say they are expecting citizens to make 3.6 billion trips during the Chinese New Year travel period that starts Thursday.

The holiday is the most important one in China and represents the world's largest seasonal migration of people as families reunite.

The Year of the Horse starts on Jan. 31. The Spring Festival transportation period lasts 40 days from Jan. 16.

Lian Weiliang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, says they expect 200 million more journeys than in 2013. Lian also told a news conference Tuesday that snow and bad weather could hamper the mass migration.