This day is a special day for Beijing couples. Ha, Marry Me at 8 on the 8th, O.K.?
More than 16,400 Beijing couples have applied to have their marriages registered on the auspicious date of Aug 8, 2008 (Friday), the municipal bureau of civil affairs said Tuesday.
On the same day last year, just 3,390 couples registered their nuptials, it said.
The deadline for Aug 8 registrations reservation was Tuesday closed, he said.
The majority of the reservations came from Beijing’s eight major districts: Chaoyang, Haidian, Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chongwen, Xuanwu, Fengtai and Shijingshan, Zhou said.
In anticipation of the huge demand, authorities in 18 districts and counties in the capital began taking registrations for the special day at the start of June, he said.
Once the applications have been processed, the couples simply have to call into the relevant office on Friday to collect their marriage certificates, he said.
Wu Shimin, head of the Beijing municipal civil affairs bureau said all marriage registration departments will open from 6 am to 6 pm on Friday.
“Our goal is to provide 100 percent satisfaction for all the couples,” he said recently during a tour of the marriage registration office in Chaoyang district, which is expected to hand out more than 3,000 marriage licenses on Friday.
Zhang Fengxiang, head of the Chaoyang district civil affairs bureau said more than 100 extra staff have been laid on to handle everything from handing out certificates to helping with car parking.
There will even be a priority channel for couples who are also Olympic staff or volunteers, he said.
Li Chaogang, head of the Fengtai district civil affairs bureau, said its marriage registration office will be decorated in a wedding style to celebrate the special day.
“New couples will feel like they are entering a wedding hall,” he said.
About 1,600 couples will collect their documents at the Fengtai office, more than 30 times the average for a normal day, he said.
Record numbers of marriage registrations are also anticipated in other cities throughout China.
In Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, the number of reservations for Aug 8 was up to 3,198, as of Friday, the China News Service reported Tuesday.
The number eight is believed to bring happiness and fortune. The three eights in Aug 8, 2008, therefore, make that day especially popular.
“Eight is such an auspicious number, and with the opening of the Beijing Olympics, the whole nation will be celebrating with us,” Li Jun, who will be among those officially getting married on Friday, told China Daily.
“And having 2008-08-08 stamped on my marriage certificate will make it extra special,” he said.