[photopress:hotels_august_wedding.jpg,full,alignright]If you are coming to China — a good idea in itself — try to avoid August 8 unless you have tickets for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
The problem with this day is that, apart from being a good day for opening the Olympics it is also a lucky day for marriage.
(Cynics will argue that that is a contradiction. That marriage days are, by definition, unlucky. But they are cynics.)
For Chinese couples getting married , the combination of eights adds up to a potentially successful union.
He Lina, secretary-general of the Shanghai Wedding Celebration Association, said, ‘The Olympic year is meaningful to all of us. According to our Chinese tradition, eight is an auspicious number, good for weddings.’
Just the 2008 date makes it lucky. So 120,000 young couples have so for decided to marry next year, some 30% more than this year.
Shanghai’s big hotels are also braced for an expected lift in business.
Angel Mao, a representative for Shangri-la, Shanghai, said, ‘Considered the “metal year” in the Chinese lunar calendar, next year is good for weddings. A lot of couples want to hold ceremonies in our hotel.’
Huang Meizi, a manager of the Guangzhou-based Dongfang Hotel in southern China, said the hotel had so far received three wedding banquet bookings for August 8.
Not all agree. The world abounds with cynics. Shi Kangning, secretary-general of the Committee of Matchmaking Service Industries under the China Association of Social Workers, told China Daily, said, ‘A marriage surge stimulated by the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games sounds groundless. The wedding surge of 2008 is a chain reaction of the birth surge in the 1980s, because next year, about 280 million youngsters in China will have reached the age of getting married.’
But she agreed it would be hard for many couples to secure bookings in hotels with a rating of three stars and over.
Source: China Daily
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