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56 Couples Find Wedded Bliss

They became husband and wife, wife and husband, and so on.

Fifty-six couples from 56 different ethnic groups across the country tied the knot yesterday and will celebrate their unions during a week of festivities at the second Liangzhu Wedding Festival in Ningbo, in East China's Zhejiang Province.

For couple Sun Weixin and Gao Yunqian, who travelled all the way from Taiwan just for the ceremony, it was the most romantic and memorable moment in their lives.The newly-weds also visited many scenic spots in Ningbo.

The event is just one of many cultural activities the local government has organized in an effort to make the city more attractive for tourists.

The romance of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai - known as "the butterfly lovers" - is a household legend in China.

As the birthplace of the forever young lovers, Ningbo has grown in popularity in the country.

In 2000, the city held its first Wedding Festival, and this year's celebration is expected to attract more tourists and local visitors.

In addition to the wedding ceremony, a variety of performance and cultural events will also be staged.

Chinese violinist Sheng Zhongguo and the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra performed the violin concerto "Butterfly Lovers."

The ballet piece called "Butterfly Lovers" staged by the Shanghai Ballet Troupe and the Yueju Opera and "Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai" by the Xiaobaihua Yueju Opera Troupe both had starring lineups, including famed artists Fan Ruijuan and Fu Chuanxiang.

Over 40 scholars and experts from home and abroad also participated in a seminar on the research of "Liang-Zhu Culture."

A carnival was held in Liangzhu Park where locals and tourists enjoyed local performing arts and a kite-flying contest.

(Chian Daily May 3, 2002)

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