4,251 Beijing couples register marriage on Qixi

Updated: 2011-08-07 16:36


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BEIJING - A total of 4,251 couples registered their marriage by 6 pm Saturday in Beijing on the so-called "Chinese Valentine's Day," according to the capital's civil affairs authorities.

The figure was 10 times that of the daily average and was even about 200 more than that on Valentine's Day on February 14, according to the Beijing Daily, citing government statistics, on Sunday.

Some marriage registration bureaus in Beijing started work one hour earlier than scheduled, the newspaper reported.

Some young couples queued up at the registration bureaus as early as Friday night, it said.

Qixi, literally "Night of Sevens," falls on the seventh day of the seventh month on China's lunar calendar. It is based on the legend of two separated lovers, Niu Lang and Zhi Nu, who could only meet each other on Qixi through an interstellar bridge formed by magpies.

People have been moved by the love story and the tradition of Qixi has been preserved for more than 2,000 years.

Nowadays, many young people view Qixi as Chinese Valentine's Day and an occasion for celebration with their partners.