When spoken in Mandarin the date January 4, 2013 sounds very similar to “I will love you all my life” and because of this thousands of couples across China have braved bad weather to go and get married on this day that they believe will give them an advantage in their marriage.
According to the BBC more than 10,000 couples in Beijing alone were registered to be getting married on Friday with many more expected to turn up at the registry offices across the city in the hope of finding a space and also being able to get married today.
This is not the first time there has been a wedding rush in China with the last lucky date being 12 December, 2012, the final repeating day of the century and also seen as a lucky date in China.
Any day with matching numbers is seen as offering people good luck but January 4, is particularly special because the words themselves sound like a promise of eternal romance.
The Chinese news agency Zinhua reported that extra government staff had to be drafted in to help with the rush and the huge increase in the number of people picking this date for their wedding.
The date has been named “love you forever day” and was embraced not only in Beijing but also in towns and cities across China and even in the Southern province of Hainan, where there was heavy rain, couple queued up along the streets to be able to make sure that they were married on this date.
The wedding industry in China is an increasingly important part of the economy with the boom in industry and trade allowing many to be able to afford increasingly lavish parties, dresses and celebrations.
There are now around 10 million weddings every year in China and this , makes it a multi-billion-dollar industry that many are keen to cash in on.
In China there is a large amount of superstition surrounding numbers and there meanings and multiples and repetitive numbers are usually seen as lucky, as is the number 8 which sounds like “prosperity” when spoken in Mandarin.
It is common for people to chose the 8th day of a month for weddings while the 4th day is usually avoided as it sounds like the word for “death” in Mandarin and is seen as being unlucky – although this year it seems these fears have been overcome with the January 4th wedding rush!