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August 21, 2012

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Hearts, weddings soaring for Qixi

THE Qixi Festival, or Chinese Valentine's Day, which falls on Thursday this year, is preferred by local couples as a day to tie the knot, with many marriage registration centers saying they're completely booked.

Marriage registration centers in Jing'an, Huangpu, Putuo, Xuhui and Baoshan districts and the Pudong New Area said yesterday that they had no spots left for Thursday, while other districts such as Hongkou and Minhang said couples should be quick because only a few spots were available as of yesterday.

The Xuhui Marriage Registration Center said it receives online reservations for a maximum of 45 couples per day, but reservations for Thursday were no longer being accepted.

"All of our reservation spots for Thursday were taken several days earlier," a staff member told Shanghai Daily.

The center had fewer than 20 couples yesterday.

The Jing'an Marriage Registration Center receives a maximum registration of 12 couples daily, but staff members said they would throw out the limit and work overtime that day.

"Our online reservations for Thursday are full now, but we will still provide registration services for couples who come that day without making reservations," said a staff member surnamed Shen.

He expected the Jing'an center would receive at least 40 couples on that day.

Marriage registration centers in Putuo and Baoshan districts also said their 60 and 50 spots, respectively, were taken days ago.

The Changning District center said it is expected to receive 400 to 500 couples on Thursday. A total of 94 out of its 130 reservations for that day had been booked as of yesterday.

Qixi Festival, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, is considered an auspicious day for couples to register because of a beautiful love story from the old days. According to the tale, an honest and warm-hearted boy named Niu Lang falls in love with Zhi Nu, a fairy from Heaven.

The city started seeing a large number of couples who picked Qixi to tie the knot in 2008.

The 2008 figure was 850 citywide that day, surging to 1,367 in 2009. In 2010, it was 1,574, soaring to 3,342 last year.


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