SEOUL, With millions of South Koreans heading to their hometowns to mark the Lunar New Year's holiday, heavy traffic clogged major highways across the nation on Sunday, highway officials said.

This year's Lunar New Year's Day, one of the largest traditional holidays in South Korea, falls on Tuesday, and the weekend extended the three-day holiday from Monday to Wednesday to five days.

A stream of vehicles has clogged major highways, with traffic expected to peak at 3-4 p.m., according to the state-run Korea Expressway Corp.

But the congestion is not likely to be heavier than the previous year as the trips to hometowns are more spread out this year due to the extended holiday, it added. Traffic is expected to ease at around 10-11 p.m.

A drive from Seoul to the southernmost port city of Busan is expected to take approximately 5 hours and 40 minutes as of 3 p.m. To reach Mokpo in the southwest, it would take about 4 hours and 40 minutes.

The highway operator said that some 3.9 million vehicles are expected to be on the road for homecomings on Sunday alone.

Source: Yonhap news Agency