201314: Forever Love?


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Thousands of couples registered for marriage across China on Jan 4th, 2013 as 201314 are pronounced as ai ni yi sheng yi shi (爱你一生一世) which means love you all my life in Mandarin Chinese. Only in Shanghai, nearly 7,300 couples chose to tie the knot at civil affairs bureaus due to the auspicious meaning of the date. The number surpassed that of December 12, 2012, when 4,883 love birds in Shanghai got married on the century’s last repeating date.

Chinese’s faith on digital superstition is nothing new. Figures 6 and 8 are very popular because the number 6 implies the meaning of smooth and successful and 8 sounds like making a fortune in Chinese. Many people prefer to pay big bucks to buy a mobile phone number that contains these auspicious digitals. However, the number 4 is ineffable because its homonym for death is an ominous sign.

Since 2008, dates with an auspicious meaning have become a popular choice for marriage registrations.

–       08/08/2008 eight is a lucky number in China which stands for good fortune. It was also the opening date of Beijing Olympics;

–       09/09/2009 when pronounced in Chinese, nine aka jiu means forever.

–       10/10/2010 ten in Chinese symbolizes perfect in every way. Shanghai’s daily record for marriage registrations was set on October 10, 2010, when 10,150 couples became husband and wife.

–       11/11/2011 it didn’t have any special meanings until Chinese netizens endowed 11/11 as the Single’s Day in China. Chinese people refer to bachelor as a stick. 11/11 is a date full of sticks thus it’s picked as the Singles’ Day. Many couples chose to get married on that day to end their single life.

–       12/12/2012 when pronounced separately, 12 means want to love, thus 12/12/12 means want to love, love, love.

But can the lucky number help the couples to avoid the scourge in life? Love and marriage will really become solid and smooth due to these numbers? I think the answer is very clear. The figures do not change anything; it’s just thought sustenance only.  As we all know, foreigners believe in God and Jesus while Chinese people’s beliefs are mostly influenced by Confucianism, Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong thought, etc., which are macro and abstract. That’s why ordinary people in general find it impossible to believe in these relatively unreal things. Fortunes and happiness are more related to people’s lives. Therefore, the figures have become part of people’s faith.

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Ironically, a survey showed that the “good days” is not a guarantee of a good marriage. The divorce rate of couples who got married on the “good days” is higher than ordinary days. Marriage registry staff believes that the reasons for this phenomenon may be that some young people rush to get married to register on the lucky day without going through a comprehensive and profound consideration. Their actions not only failed to obtain the good wishes, but also hid the dangers for the stability of marriage.

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