Chinese couples queue to say "I do" on Olympic day
Monday, 23 June 2008

REUTERS, BEIJING - More than Chinese 1,000 couples queued for hours for marriage licenses to wed on Aug. 8, the date of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, state media said on Saturday.

The couples crowded marriage registration offices on Friday, the Beijing Daily said, the first day that applications to get married on Aug. 8 were being accepted.

The number eight is auspicious in Chinese, as it is pronounced like the word "fa", which is part of the expression meaning "to get wealthy".

"Chinese people are keen to tie the knot on an auspicious date," Xinhua news agency added. "The opening date of the Olympics adds new meaning.

"Marriage registration offices in Beijing predict more than 9,000 couples will get married on Aug. 8 this year," it said.

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