Inside the tradition of Chinese New Year in modern day China

The lunar New Year is underway around the world with millions of people celebrating
The lunar New Year is underway around the wor... 02:43

The Lunar New Year is underway around the world, with millions of people celebrating the Year of the Horse.

In China, CBS News' Seth Doane reported the holiday is a crush of humanity.

During the Lunar New Year holiday, he reported on "CBS This Morning: Saturday," the Chinese will take more than three-and-half billion trips - sometimes combining multiple modes of transport just to get home.

Travelers Li Chen and her husband, Hu Liang, are leaving Beijing in the north to see their parents in central China.

Asked what they think about going home, Li said, "Wow - we're so exciting."

Hu added, "The spring is coming. Everybody needs to be together."

CBS News tagged along to brave the crowds at one of Beijing's four train stations.

It's called the the largest annual migration on Earth, and in China, Doane said, it certainly feels that way. It makes waiting areas feel like holding pens.

Asked how difficult it is to get a train ticket during the holiday period, Hu said, "With only five minutes - everything is sold out."

Six-and-a-half million people travel daily by train during the spring festival.

Migrant workers pack into train cars while platforms and curbsides are barely visible beneath the throngs of people.

Accountant Jennifer Luo was happy just to get on a train. She had to stand - and by the bathroom - as there were no tickets for seats.

Thr train ride used to take Li and Hu more than 20 hours, but as China has expanded its high-speed rail network, the trip was cut to just over seven.

Still, that's not fast enough for Hu Liang's mom. Hu said, "We have two hours to my hometown, but she probably is already been at the station waiting for me."

And, as CBS News discovered at the Yichang Station, he was right.

Li's parents were home preparing gyoza, the dumplings that are a new year's staple.

Once they were all reunited, they were speaking Chinese, but, really - with everyone finally together - there was no translation needed.