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China´s couples throng to marry for triple eight

Source: Xinhua | 08-08-2008 15:44

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympic Games

A total of 19 pairs of newlyweds from 12 cities of China hold a romantic group wedding on the sea in Olympic co-host city Qinhuangdao, north China's Hebei Province, at about 11:00 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2008, 9-hour countdown to the opening ceremony of the Olympics. The opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be held in the National Stadium at 8:00 p.m. on Aug. 8. (Xinhua/Gong Zhihong)
A total of 19 pairs of newlyweds from 12 cities of 
China hold a romantic group wedding on the sea in 
Olympic co-host city Qinhuangdao, north China's Hebei 
Province, at about 11:00 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2008,
9 hour countdown to the opening ceremony of the 
Olympics. The opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 
Olympic Games will be held in the National Stadium 
at 8:00 p.m. on Aug. 8. (Xinhua/Gong Zhihong)

  BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The joy was written all over the faces of Sun Zhengbiao and Xue Jiaojiao after they tied the knot on Friday morning, the day of the auspicious three eights.

    "We decided to get married on Aug. 8 last year," said Xue, a secondary school teacher. "It is such a lucky number and it's only once in a life time."

    Chinese people are keen to tie the knot on an auspicious date. The number eight symbolizes wealth, fortune and luck. Many people choose dates with the number to start a business, get married or give birth. People also pay extra to have it in phone numbers or license plates.

    This year, Aug. 8 is also the opening date of the Olympic Games in Beijing, giving it added cachet.

    Xue, who is also a volunteer for the Olympic Games, will patrol her neighborhood Friday night for security risks. "I will probably miss some part of the opening ceremony but it's okay. I can watch the recast tomorrow."

    Outside the registry office in Chaoyang district, love was in the air. Pink ribbons with balloons decorated on the gate. Red banners congratulating newly-weds were put up on the wall for this special occasion. Dozens of couples queued to get their marriage certificates.