Numbers are very auspicious in China: everything from your cell phone number to your license plate are social symbols of affluence and good fortune. So it comes as no surprise that 9/9/09 was a huge day for marriages nationwide. Couples rushed to marriage offices in major cities all over the country, causing officials to kick their efforts into Vegas-style efficiency.
From BBC News:
“We have deployed more staff to ensure smooth operations at registration sites,” said Zhou Jixiang, the head of Shanghai’s Civil Affairs Bureau.
In Beijing, the marriage reservation system has notched up a gear: “Normally it takes 10 minutes to handle the whole procedure, but we have set-up this reservation system, so now it takes only three minutes.”, said marriage official Zhang Weiwei.
Beijing had 10,000 registered couples as of yesterday morning with Shanghai coming in at 6,000, not including same-day registrants. Interestingly, it seems that couples in Shanghai preferred to get married on 8/8/08, which has a more wealth-related auspice, whereas Beijingers preferred 9/9/09, which has the connotation of long lasting endurance. Of course, the statistics might be skewed because of the Olympics, but it’s still an interesting reflection on the nature of the two cities.
If you missed the chance of a lifetime to get married yesterday, ChinaNews.com has some reassuring words: you only have to wait another hundred years for the next one! Technically, you only have another 99 years and 364 days of waiting, so we’d suggest getting your wedding registration papers in order to beat the rush.