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September 11, 2010

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The perfect day to be married

ANOTHER auspicious day for tying the knot is approaching: 10-10-10. Local civil affairs authorities said almost all the online reservations for obtaining marriage certificate had been booked in the downtown area.

Many young people believe the date means "perfection in everything" and have reserved the 10am slot as the best time for their reservations, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said.

Up to yesterday, only offices in suburban areas, such as Songjiang, Fengxian and Jinshan districts, had spaces available.

Officials said usually a district accepts 20 couples making online reservations for a certain day, but the limit has been doubled for October 10.

District offices also accept reservations in person and in Yangpu District more than 170 couples have made the trip to the office.

"A good beginning is half the success," said Alice Huo, who will be a bride on the day. "We believe that a good date will allow us a good beginning."

Huo said she failed to make an online reservation as the website page was too hard to open with too many people trying to log in. But she and her fiance will go to the office for registration on the day. "We'll have to get up early, maybe before dawn," she said. "Otherwise we'll have to line up for a long time."

The bureau said originally the wedding registration offices would be closed on Sundays, but as a huge number of new couples expressed their wish to tie the knot on the day, they would to make an exception on October 10.

Zhou Jixiang, director of the bureau's marriage management division, said the number of new couples registering on October 10 is likely to be a new record. Officials are fully prepared for an extremely busy day.

"For new couples having made reservations, their personal information will be input in an online system, and we'll print the certificates ahead of time according to the information," said Zhou. "On the day what we'll do is double check the information. We believe that the registration procedure for each couple will last for no longer than five minutes."

The city has experienced two marriage boom days in the past two years ¨? August 8, 2008, and September 9, last year. New couples believed 8-8-8 would bring them fortune as the number "eight" sounds the same as "making fortune" in Chinese; while 9-9-9 will bless their union as "nine" sounds the same as "everlasting."


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