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Couples flock to marriage centers
By Hu Min

THOUSANDS of couples rushed to marriage registration centers across the city yesterday to tie the knot because of the auspicious meaning of the date, meaning "I love you" in Chinese.

A total of 3,766 couples said "I do" across the city, compared with the normal 400 on a day without any special meaning. The figure included 25 cross-border marriages, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said.

It is the largest number of marriage registrations this year since January 4, when nearly 7,300 couples tied the knot. That date has a similar pronunciation as "forever love" in Chinese. It also surpassed the figure on May 20, 2011, when 1,758 married. May 20, 2012, fell on a Sunday, when marriage registration service centers are closed.

The seven digits of the date - 2013/5/20 - have a similar pronunciation to "love you for life, I love you" in Chinese.

Shirley Fu, wearing a matching T-shirt with her soon-to-be-husband, waited quietly at the Huangpu District center.

"I picked the date several weeks ago due to the auspicious meaning, which I believe will bring good blessings to our future life," the nurse said.

At the Minhang District marriage registration center, 242 couples got certificates, up from the usual 20 to 30.

The Yangpu center said it handed out 198 certificates yesterday, compared with about 20 on a normal day.

Auspicious dates filled with meaning

DATES with an auspicious meaning have become a popular choice for marriage registrations.

The city's daily record for marriage registrations was set on October 10, 2010, when 10,150 couples became husband and wife.

The number "10-10-10" symbolizes "perfection in everything" for Chinese.

The city's marriage registration centers are always packed with love birds on special dates with auspicious meanings.

On January 4, 2013, nearly 7,300 couples registered at civil affairs bureaus across the city due to the auspicious meaning of the date - 2013/1/4.

When spoken in Chinese, the numbers 201314 sound like the phrase "love you for life."

On December 12, 2012, 4,883 couples tied the knot on the century's last repeating date, which means "want to love" twice in Chinese.

The auspicious date of November 11, 2011, for marriage saw around 5,000 couples get marriage certificates.

Many couples believe the date - 11/11/11 - is auspicious and signifies a "pure heart."

Some 7,189 couples rushed to marriage registration offices across the city on 2008/8/8 because the date has many "8s". It sounds like "strike a fortune."

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