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January 5, 2013

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Marriages bloom on auspicious date

NEARLY 7,300 couples registered for marriage at civil affairs bureaus across the city by 5pm yesterday due to the auspicious meaning of the date - 2013/1/4 - since the six digits mean forever love.

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

Many couples thus picked the special day to get married.

The Pudong New Area led the way as 1,301 couples married there yesterday. Minhang at 543 and Baoshan at 492 rounded out the top three districts for marriages, according to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

There were also 34 cross-border marriages registered across the city yesterday, said Lin Kewu, deputy director of the bureau's marriage administration office.

Lin said about 7,300 couples got married on the date. The number surpassed that of December 12, 2012, when 4,883 love birds tied the knot on the century's last repeating date.

Yesterday, one couple arrived at a marriage registration center at 2am to avoid long queues.

"Our security guards understood the couple's excitement and gave them the first reservation and persuaded them to go home and sleep," said Yu Weiting, an official at the Yangpu District Marriage Registration Center.

Since 2008, 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.

"Overall, the number of couples getting married has been declining since last year. Such peaks only occur on auspicious dates like yesterday," Lin said.

Lovers also hoped for good blessings from the auspicious date by stamping special postmarks and heart-shaped seals on Tian'ai Road in Hongkou District, which is also known as Sweet and Love Road.


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