BEIJING, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Officials in China and Hong Kong said they noted a massive spike in couples seeking to marry Friday and take advantage of the perceived lucky date.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong Immigration Department said a record 1,017 couples have notified officials of their plans to marry Friday, which is seen as a lucky date because the pronunciation of "11/11/11" is similar to the Chinese idiomatic expression "one life, one lifetime," which is used to mean "forever," The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
"If all of these couples end up getting married today, it would be the day with the highest number of people getting married in Hong Kong in at least two decades," the spokesman said.
A Beijing Ministry of Civil Affairs spokesman said 4,000 couples are registered to marry Friday, far more than the average 400 per day but far from the record 10,000 couples that married on Aug. 8, 2008, the first day of the Beijing Olympics.
"Today is a lot but it can't compare to 08/08/08," the spokesman said.