Zhou's mother probes her head into the car to exhort her son.
A photograph of a mother saying goodbye to her son has captured the mood of a nation as millions of people return to work after the Spring Festival and bid the families goodbye.
The Spring Festival is traditionally seen as a time of family reunions and now the holidays have come to an end photographs capturing family members as they depart have been circulating across the Internet on different social media networks.
One set of pictures posted on the social media site Wechat on Wednesday by Zhou Jianhai, a coach at a sports school in downtown Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, has captured the mood of the nation. The pictures show his 80-year-old mother Hu Xianju, accompanying Zhou all the way from their home to the gate of the village and smilingly as he drove off in his car despite the frigid temperature.
A picture of the mother leaning through the car window to tell Zhou to take care of himself moved several netizens to tears as they could relate to this all too familiar scene happening across the country.
"A mother always worries about his travelling child," Zhou noted on the post along with the photos, adding "though we all presumed to be happy, we could not help but feel the sadness on the parting."
Zhou, who currently works some 270 kilometers away from his home village, rarely has the chance to go back home to reunite with his parents due to his busy work schedule. Coming back home ahead of the Chinese New Year's Eve and staying with his parents for some seven days amid the festive celebrations is a rare opportunity for the family to come together. Zhou said his parents insisted on accompanying him all the way to the village entrance the day he left with his wife and lingered for quite a long time in bidding them farewell.
"Though we always say 'while our parents raised us up, we accompany them on their way of aging', we actually have too little time to stay with them," Zhou's words to reporters from local media have struck a chord with many Chinese people who reluctantly live apart from their aging parents but have to work in remote mega cities for better opportunities.
The Spring Festival vacation officially wrapped up on Thursday. While Zhou drove many people take the train to see thier families. China Railway estimated that some 11.5 million passengers made journeys on one single day with 3 billion journeys made altogether during the 40-day Spring Festival travel rush which lasts till February 21.