Category Archives: Gifting

I’ll love you forever (especially if we get married on January 4, 2013): good fortune and Chinese weddings

Double happiness papercut bought on a business trip to Taiwan in 1989

Double happiness papercut
(bought on a 1989 business trip in Taiwan)

Happy Love You Forever Day! Haven’t heard of it? Maybe that’s because you aren’t Chinese, where couples across the country are doing what they can to marry on this auspicious date. More than 10 million marriages take place in China each year, with numbers spiking on dates thought to be numerically important.

Marriages take place at registry offices and must be booked in advance. It was reported that 10,000 couples married today in Beijing, and that many more hopefuls showed up without an appointment. In Hong Kong, the city’s five marriage registries were fully booked for this date by September 20 2012.

So what makes tody special? After all, it doesn’t have matching numbers (as was the case recently on 12/12/12); such dates are thought to bring good fortune.

No, it is the words that make today special. In Mandarin, the words for “January 4, 2013” sound like the phrase “I will love you all my life.”

That’s as good a reason as any to pick a wedding date.

However, if you’re looking for good fortune, it helps to pick the right parents.

At least that was the case for the couple in China’s Fujan province, where the bride’s father paid a dowry worth more than $150 million to help the couple start their new life together. According to the South China Morning Post  “the extravagant gift included four boxes of gold jewelry, more than $3 million deposited into their bank account, $800,000 in stock, a Porsche and a Mercedes…(as well as) a retail store, mansion and other properties. To top it all off, nearly $2.5 million was donated to two local charities on the couple’s behalf.” No partridge in a pear tree, but they can afford to buy their own should they choose to do so.

Why the largess? “As parents, we certainly want our child’s life to be more stable than our lives as entrepreneurs,” said the bride’s mother, according to the UK’s Daily Mail. I don’t think stability will be one of their future concerns. They married on Sunday. Guess they didn’t need to pick a particularly auspicious date to ensure their good fortune.

So how did you pick your wedding date? And has it proved to be fortunate for you?

In other Chinese wedding news, one father has established a bounty/promise of $65 million as a wedding gift to any man who will marry his lesbian daughter. As reported in the Huffington Post, Hong Kong businessan Cecil Chao was upset that his daughter Gigi had eloped with her partner to France, where their union was blessed in a church. It should be noted that Hong Kong decriminalized homosexuality in 1991, but it does not legally recognize same-sex marriage.

Ironically, it cannot be said that Mr. Chao practices what he preaches. A man with a reputation for being a playboy, he once claimed to have had 10,000 girlfriends but has never married. Daughter Gigi is one of three children, each with a different mother.

Chao says he has received “hundreds” of responses since making his offer, and is certain there is a large pool of eligible suitors. “Thousands of people want to be my in-laws,” he proclaims. Would Gigi cooperate and enter into a heterosexual marriage?  Gigi says, “We’ll just worry about that when the time comes.”

You can’t make this stuff up, people

What do you think  – is this a tempting offer? How much would it take to entice you to marry for money and not for love?