Millions of South Koreans head home for Lunar New Year holiday

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Millions of South Koreans head home for Lunar New Year holiday

   Millions of South Koreans are returning to their hometowns Saturday as the annual exodus for the three-day Lunar New Year holiday has started.   The Lunar New Year season is one of two major holidays in South Korea that, together with the Korean Thanksgiving holiday, or Chuseok, traditionally sees families get together in their hometowns to visit family graves.   Nearly 30 million people were expected to visit their hometowns by car, bus, train or plane, according to the Korea Highway Corp.   Highway traffic was running relatively smoothly as of Saturday morning except for some stretches of highway that were experiencing congestion, said officials at the state-run expressway operator.   As of 2:00 p.m., it took about two hours to travel from Seoul to Daejeon, some 150 kilometers south of the capital, and five hours and 10 minutes from Seoul to Busan, officials said.   "Traffic jams are expected to continuously increase in the morning before reaching their peak around noon and decrease in the afternoon," an official said.   The agency said some 150,000 cars had left the Seoul metropolitan area as of 10:00 a.m., with roughly 220,000 more expected to hit the highways until midnight.

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