BEIJING, Sept. 9 -- Wednesday may not seem like a
popular day of the week to get married, yet today tens of thousands of lovers
will tie the knot, hoping the "lucky" day will guarantee a life on Cloud 9.
The number nine is considered auspicious in Chinese
society, and today's date of Sept 9, 2009, or 09.09.09, is seen as particularly
"Today has three nines symbolizing extremely good
luck," said Li Shaozhong, a 28-year-old engineer, who along with his fiance will
be among the thousands of couples hoping to boost their chances at a happy
The couple met in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, four years ago. Li said they want to be in love for the rest of their lives. More than 10,000 couples are
expected to register their marriages at local civil affairs departments in
Beijing, and about 6,000 couples will tie the knot in Shanghai.
Meanwhile, 6,000 couples are registered to receive
their certificates in Guangzhou, capital of Guandong province, along with 4,000
in Tianjin and 2,000 in Nanjing.
"We have deployed more staff to ensure smooth
operation at registration sites," said Zhou Jixiang, head of the marriage
registration division of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.
Local civil affairs administration officials said
they will not set any quotas on the number of people applying to get married
today, and any couple in Shanghai can get their wedding certificates by midnight
as long as they make it to the registration sites by 4 pm.
For others, however, there are more significant dates
than today's triple nines.
"Sept 9 is a lucky day but my girlfriend's birthday
is Sept 1. So we chose that day," said Xu Ke, a 27-year-old employee of a
financial agency in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. "And with so many people
rushing to register, it may be a little bit crowded."
Gottfried Bogensperger, general manager with Hyatt on
the Bund in Shanghai, said he did not expect a boom in the wedding banquet
business at his hotel today, as most Chinese couples prefer to host the wedding
ceremony during weekends or holidays.
However, "we have received quite a number of wedding
inquiries for next January," he said, adding that he anticipated that the
Chinese New Year and Oct 10 next year (10.10.10) will be very popular.
Zhou said it would be difficult to predict whether
today's final figure will break the city's record on Aug 8 last year, the day
when the Beijing Olympics began.
Abbreviated as 08.08.08, that day was also considered
auspicious, with about 3,300 couples marrying in Beijing that day, along with
7,100 in Shanghai, 1,200 in Guangzhou, 6,000 in Tianjin and 3,000 in Nanjing.
(Source: China Daily)