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Beijing to Book Marriage Registration on August 8 in Advance
    2008-06-07 13:36:34     CRIENGLISH.com

Some 50 pairs of newlyweds participated in a group wedding ceremony in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province, on August 8, 2007, or the 26th day of the 6th month according to Chinese lunar calendar. As 8 and 6 are lucky numbers in China, as well as August 8 marks one-year countdown to 2008 Olympics, the day witnessed a considerable number of weddings in China. [File photo: cnsphoto]

Beijing residents who want to register their marriage on lucky August 8, also the opening day of the Olympic Games, can make on-site bookings at marriage-license offices from June 20 to August 5, the Beijing Times reported on Friday.

Online booking will become available between July 7 and August 8, according to the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau. The booking quota will be increased from 20 couples per day to 60 or 80.

During this period, citizens in Beijing can bring relevant documents, such as proof of identity, to the marriage-license offices for inspection. If they meet the marriage registration requirement, the offices will print their licenses in advance so as to save time and avoid delays.

Couples will receive their marriage licenses in one or two minutes when they arrive at the office at the appointed time. Usually, processing the registration of each couple takes an employee about 10 minutes, said the report.

Most offices have promised to extend their working hours on August 8 in order to meet demand from residents. For instance, the marriage-license office in Fengtai District in Beijing promised to open at 6 a.m. on that day.

The date, August 8, is widely welcomed not only because it is the day that the Beijing Olympic Games will open, but also because Chinese people believe the date composed of three "eights" 08,08,08 will bring them happiness and fortune.

For the same reason, June 6, or "06, 06" also saw a lot of couples gathering at the marriage-license offices. A man surnamed Li told the reporter that he received his marriage license at noon despite arriving at the office at 6 am. So many couples has packed into the crowded office that he had to wait for six hours.

The number "six" is one the auspicious numbers loved by Chinese people, indicating good luck and the desire that "everything goes off smoothly."

 
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