Fiji Time: 6:01 PM on Thursday 8 December

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Looking forward to the festivities

Fred Wesley
Thursday, December 08, 2016

We are about two weeks away from Christmas day and it probably isn't too early to remind ourselves about the need for vigilance.

We are into the festive season now. This is when we see a lot of movement of people around the country.

It may not be anywhere near the massive numbers associated with the annual Chinese Spring Festival for instance, but we still have our little logistical nightmares.

If we were to do a comparative analysis of the Spring Festival, then you can't get away from the fact that it is arguably the world's largest movement of humanity and the largest seasonal migration on the planet.

It has more than 4000 years of history.

And no matter where they are, Chinese people will attempt to return home for a family reunion, making this a massive migration of humans on trains, buses, aircraft and cars around the globe.

China's transport ministry, according to a Reuters report this month, expects travellers to make nearly three billion trips during the upcoming festival which is set to start on January 13 next year.

China had actually braced itself for an estimated 2.91 billion passengers who made the journey home in January this year.

It ensured a transportation nightmare for China.

In Fiji, while the movement is on a smaller scale, we also have large groups of people moving around the country.

There is an expectation that people will visit family and friends around the country.

With children on their annual school holidays, many families are expected to take time out for holidays, picnics and to attend family functions away from home. This is also an opportunity for families to organise functions, from weddings to fundraising for special projects, and to visit villages for traditional events.

For thousands of people, it means travelling out of the district.

In fact the festive season cuts through every imaginary demarcation line in our nation.

People have many reasons to celebrate.

And this is where the police force and other arms of government and public service providers will come in.

As we look forward to our trips, let us factor in safety issues.

Remember we are well into the cyclone season.

Let us be vigilant.

Keep a tab on the weather.

Let us plan our journeys, and let us plan to arrive at our destinations on time and alive.

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