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May 21, 2013

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Couples flock to marriage centers

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.


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