By Michael Evans
Couples hoping to tie the knot on Valentine’s Day will be disappointed this year, as marriage registration offices across the country remain closed for the Spring Festival holiday.
In the past two months, thousands of couples flooded marriage registration offices on “Will love will love will love day” and “Love you forever day” but virtually no one will be married this year on plain old Valentine’s Day.
Because of the week-long Spring Festival holiday, government offices across China are currently closed, and will remain so until February 15. This leaves hopeful brides and grooms unable to apply for marriage certificates on the most romantic day of the year.
Valentine’s Day has traditionally seen large crowds of newlyweds officially saying “I do.” Last year, 2,800 couples married in Shanghai on February 14, compared to an average of just 400 the rest of the year. Beijing saw more than 4,000 newlywed couples last year, up from a similar 3,900 in 2011.
Those who absolutely can’t bear the thought of tying the knot on any day other than February 14, 2013 will have to head to Nantong, in Jiangsu province, where civil affairs officials say marriage registration staff (cupids) will come back from their holidays to accommodate couples looking to wed.