On November 11, 2011, Asia witnessed an unusual surge in matrimonial celebrations, with thousands of couples choosing this symbolic date for their nuptials. Shanghai, China’s most populous city, experienced an extraordinary day at its civil registry offices.
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From the early morning hours, over 400 couples gathered, some arriving quite early and waiting for hours to register. This enthusiasm was attributed to the belief in the luck associated with the date’s sequence of six “1s,” a superstition that has gained prominence since the 1990s.
In China, November 11 is known as “guanggunjie,” or Singles’ Day, a tradition encouraging singles to socialize and celebrate. In 2011, this day gained special significance due to the repetition of “1s.” Over 3,300 couples were expected to wed in Shanghai alone on this date. Furthermore, the city hosted a massive event for 10,000 singles, aiming to foster romantic connections. This marriage surge was not limited to Shanghai; other Chinese cities also reported an increase in wedding ceremonies.
Another factor that heightened the date’s popularity was numerology. Adding the digits of 11.11.2011 results in “8,” a number considered lucky in Chinese culture. This phenomenon was not confined to China. In Vietnam, a collective wedding for 80 couples was planned in Ho Chi Minh City. Singapore, with its significant ethnic Chinese population, likewise saw a rise in weddings.
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Interestingly, even in Australia, where November 11 is observed for historical reasons, there was an uptick in weddings. Couples showed keen interest in the details, with some even aiming to marry precisely at 11:11. Wedding planning businesses confirmed a significant increase in requests for this day. However, this trend was expected to be eclipsed by November 20, 2011, when the date would form another attractive numerical sequence: 20.11.2011.
This fascination with symbolic dates reflects the importance that Asian cultures place on numerology and superstitions. These beliefs, deeply rooted in history and tradition, continue to influence significant decisions like choosing a wedding day. While these dates might go unnoticed in the West, in Asia, they represent moments of celebration, hope, and, most importantly, good fortune.