China couples flock to marry on auspicious 09/09/09
Tens of thousands of Chinese rushed 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,” 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 world’s most populous nation, state media asserted.
“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.
In Beijing alone, 18,979 couples queued, beating the previous one-day record of 15,646 set on August 8, 2008, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The number eight is also traditionally considered lucky.
“What a good day it is! We are very lucky that we get married today. The auspicious number stands for our eternal love,” Zhang Peng told Xinhua, as he lined up with his girlfriend at a registry office in the southwestern city of Chengdu.
Meanwhile, nearly 5,000 couples had made advanced bookings in the country’s biggest city Shanghai, said the China News Service.
In the southern metropolis of Guangzhou, more than 6,100 couples had registered in advance to marry on Wednesday, while numerous large Chinese cities each reported 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 314,224 couples who married on August 8, 2008, Xinhua said.