Over 16,000 Beijing couples want to make the most of 8!August 6th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, Aug 6 (RIA Novosti) A total of 16,400 Chinese couples are planning to tie the knot Friday as a combination of the Olympic opening ceremony and a numerical coincidence of 08.08.08 has sparked a wedding frenzy, the China Daily said Wednesday. In Chinese culture, eight is believed to bring luck and Friday’s date being the eighth day of the eighth month in the eighth year of the century has seen Chinese couples lining up to tie the knot.
Chinese people pay extra to have an eight in their phone numbers, addresses and licence plates.
In the Mandarin language the word for “eight” sounds like part of the phrase “to make fortune.”
“Eight is such an auspicious number, and with the opening of the Beijing Olympics, the whole nation will be celebrating with us,” Li Jun, who will be among those officially getting married Friday, told the daily.
Many Chinese will get their certificate and hold the wedding ceremony on a separate day, as Chinese laws and traditions do not limit the marriage ceremony to the registration day.
However, the marriage boom extends beyond China with a record number of weddings due to be registered in the Russian capital Moscow on the same day.
Russian couples, who wish to marry Aug 8, see eight as a lucky symbol of eternity and a combination of two wedding rings. The western tradition of numerology says that eight is a symmetrical number, uniting spiritual and material welfare.
“Muscovites apparently hope to triple their family happiness by tying the knot on 08.08.08,” the head of Moscow registry offices department, Irina Muravyova, said.
Unlike Beijing registry offices, where registry employees spend roughly from one to five minutes on each couple, at least 10 minutes are required to register a marriage in Russia.
Registry offices in the Russian capital Friday will close at 9.00 p.m. instead of 6.00 p.m. and an estimated 1,678 couples are expected to marry.
Authorities in the west Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiisk have organised a mass wedding ceremony in the city’s main square to cope with all the applications. Employees at the city’s sole registry office will also hold several “visiting ceremonies” in the city’s restaurants.