They say that love can make you do things that you never thought possible! And in the case of China, this is certainly the case as thousands of couples rush to get married today in what has been publicised as ‘Love you forever day' in the media.
In Mandarin, the date 4 January 2013 sounds similar to “I will love you all my life” creating a wedding rush where couples believe getting married on this auspicious day will bring them everlasting and true love. The rush to get married this Friday is similar to the one experienced on 12 December last year, or 12.12.12, celebrated as the century's final repeating date.
Numbers form an important factor for decisions in China and matching dates have spurred an increase in events like weddings as these dates are considered to bring good luck. Numbers, like the number eight which sounds similar to the word "prosperity" in Mandarin, are instrumental in Chinese culture and when the Beijing Olympics starting on the eighth day of the eighth month in 2008, the date saw a flurry of activity as couples rushed to get married on the auspicious day. Not just weddings, numbers like eight that command good luck are also prominently displayed on telephone numbers and car registrations and to purchase them one must be willing to spend a small fortune. Numbers like four however, which sounds similar to “death” in Mandarin, are considered to bring bad luck and are avoided.
For this year, 'love you forever day' will see at least 10,000 couples expecting to tie the knot in Beijing alone with registry offices being flooded by couples looking to get wed - both with appointments and those without.