ING (AFP) - Tens of thousands of Chinese were rushing to get married on Wednesday, hoping that the 09/09/09 date would bring longevity to their weddings and lives.
Besides meaning nine, nine, jiu, jiu in Chinese also means for a long time, thus making Wednesday an auspicious day to get married. The fact that another nine is added for 2009 has only made the day luckier in the worlds most populous nation, state press reported. We were going to get married in March, but when we looked at the calendar and saw September 9, we changed our minds, a young man surnamed Yang said on Beijing television as he queued at a local marriage office.
We have been waiting in line all night, he said as his bride-to-be held his hand and smiled. As of late Tuesday, 3,500 couples had made online bookings to marry in three Beijing districts, while nearly 5,000 couples had made advanced bookings in the countrys biggest city Shanghai, said the China News Service.
In the southern metropolis of Guangzhou, more than 6,100 couples had registered to marry on Wednesday, while numerous large Chinese cities each reported wedding totals of at least 2,000 couples, the report said.
Officials were expecting many more newlyweds-to-be to crowd into marriage offices than those who had pre-registered, it said.
The number tying the knot in China was expected to surpass the number of couples who married on August 8, 2008 the number eight is traditionally considered lucky, while it also sounds like the word for wealth.
On 08/08/08, 16,400 couples applied for marriage registration in Beijing alone, press reports said at the time. By comparison, there was a total of 170,000 marriages in Beijing in the whole of 2006, a 25-year record, the reports said.