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Couples Tie the Knot on Auspicious August 8
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Some 3,390 couples in Beijing formally registered for their happy marriage on Wednesday, August 8, a day that is usually considered highly auspicious.

Countless couples lined up at various marriage registration offices ahead of time on Tuesday, Beijing Morning Post reported.

Zhao Gang and Cao Man, a young couple from Beijing's eastern Chaoyang District were the first to have their registration finalized. They began waiting outside the office at 3 PM on Tuesday.

Besides on-the-spot queuing, many young couples chose to virtually reserve via the city's online marriage services. Chen Ru, a chief official from the Marriage Registry office in Haidian District, said many couples booked for their big day via their online booking system. And according to Chen, the registration service was fully to capacity on the lucky day.

August 8 also marks the one-year countdown to the Beijing Olympic Games, and of course the beginning of Autumn according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The ancient calendar, made up of 24 solar terms, represents different climate periods that govern agricultural arrangements and is still functioning today.

The day is viewed an auspicious day because August 8 has two eights in it and in Chinese culture, the pronunciation of eight in Cantonese sounds similar to "fa", which implies "big fortune", and thus it is considered a lucky number.

Meanwhile, according to the traditional lunar calendar, the day was in fact June 26, a number containing two sixes, also a pair of lucky numbers in Chinese culture, meaning everything will be smooth and successful.

( August 9, 2007)

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