China / Society

Lining up for a lifetime of love

By Sun Ye in Beijing and Zhang Kun in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2013-01-05 00:45

Romantic date sees couples across the country flock to tie the knot

Let Jan 4 go down in history as the sweetest day of all.

In Chinese, the date 2013-1-4 has a similar pronunciation to "love you for a lifetime", making it one of the most auspicious and romantic days to tie the knot.

Lining up for a lifetime of love

 Waiting to tie the knot on Friday, Jan 4, 2013, a date that has a similar pronunciation to "love you for a lifetime", is tiring for couples at the Haidian District Marriage Registration Office in Beijing. Below: Ecstasy overwhelms newlyweds the moment they get the certificate, as seen at Dongjiang District Marriage Registration Office in Neijiang, Sichuan province. [Liu Zhen/China News Service]

The day saw more than 12,000 weddings in Beijing, 7,300 in Shanghai, 3,000 marriage reservations in Chongqing, and Wuhan in Hubei province had 3,500 couples booking slots to get married, an all-time high in the city of 10 million residents.

Auspicious dates are almost always popular with Chinese, who prefer days with special meanings or that sound similar to "perfect happiness" and "everlasting love", according to Lin Kewu, a spokesman for the marriage registration office under Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

On Sept 9, 2009, more than 15,000 couples got married in Beijing. The triple 12 date, Dec 12, 2012, also saw a surge in marriage registration in Beijing and Shanghai.

Determined to be one of the lucky ones, Beijing-based video maker Zhang Ying had applied to marry on the day weeks ago and stood in line on the eve of Jan 4 to guarantee his entry.

Before the midnight clock chimed, there were more than 600 standing in line at Beijing's Haidian Marriage Registration Office, all in cold-defying outfits.

The couple was able to marry at 5:30 in the morning.

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