Thousands of couples wed on 520, China's 'I Love You' Day

By Ryan Kilpatrick, May 21, 2015

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One Valentine's Day was never going to be enough for China; that's why they rebranded Lantern Festival and Qixi as "Chinese Valentine's Day."

However, turns out three Valentine's still isn't enough for the People's Republic of Consumption. That's why yet another has been added to the calendar: 'I Love You Day' or 'Internet Valentine's Day.' The celebration falls in May 20 since the numbers 5/20 sound vaguely like "I love you" in Mandarin Chinese.

Besides presenting yet another much-needed opportunity for sales and promotional events, the day has also become a favorite day for tying the knot. In Qingdao, the beaches were packed to the gunwales with newly-weds taking their wedding snaps. Because nothing says "our special day" like fighting over a particularly photogenic rock with hundreds of over couples.

Qingdao beach

Qingdao beach

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By sun down, cities nationwide were tallying their stats and reporting on the huge number of couples who wed on 520 this year. 

In Chengdu, 1,484 couples got up from 3:00am to to get married on the auspicious date. 1,666 pairs got hitched in Ningbo, 4,000 in Shanghai, 7,837 across Jiangxi and a mind-blowing 8,000 in the city of Chongqing alone.

It might be of interest to linguistics to note that despite a population about three times Ningbo's *only* 1,621 couple were wed in Guangzhou (520 sounds nothing like "I love you" in Cantonese).


It's only a matter of time before more numerical codes are transformed into meaningless holidays. May we suggest August 9 for Bowling Day (809/保齡球)? Or July 29 for Go Drinking Day (729/去喝酒)?

After all these Valentine's Days, the latter may not be a bad choice...

RELATED: French senator Jean Germain kills himself on morning of 'Chinese weddings' fraud trial

[Images via Chongqing News, iFeng]

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