This week begins China’s annual mass pilgrimage, as millions return to their home towns for the Chinese New Year. But for those who grew up as only children, the ritual can also mean a modern-day test for one of China’s most enduring family traditions.
April 5, 2011 Women push babies in strollers through a Beijing park during a public holiday for the Qingming Festival, also known as Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day. The government recently announced that the country’s urban population had surpassed those living in rural areas. That shift, coupled with the one-child policy and other societal changes, has left tens of millions of elderly people living alone, often with little in the way of government aid. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images Buy Photo