BEIJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Hundreds of couples in Beijing formed long queues outside their local marriage registry offices on Monday, swelling the tide of sentiment to get married on Chinese Valentine's Day, or Qixi.
By 7 am, the queue outside Chaoyang marriage registration office already stretched 200 meters north and south along Tianshuiyuan East Road.
"It is the first time this year that I have seen so many people queuing here," said Zhan Yan, who is in his 50s and lives nearby.
Tang Peng, 24, and Zou Xingyan, 25, who came at 4 am, were at the front of the queue.
"We are so happy to be the first couple to get registered today. This is such an auspicious day," said Tang.
"There was another couple ahead of us, who arrived at 2 am, but they went away for some reason, which allowed us to be first," Zou said excitedly.
"I asked one of my relatives who lives nearby to queue for me. He came at half past four and got the second place," said Huang Shaohua, who is in her 20s.
Meanwhile, employees from wedding photographic studios were busy passing out brochures to the couples anxiously waiting their turn.
"In China, people usually hold wedding ceremonies some time after the registration. We expect continuing demand for wedding products and services over the next few months," said Wang Yong, from ING photographic studio, which had a representative at the registry office at 6 am and had handed out almost 200 brochures by 4 pm.
A spokeswoman, surnamed Zhang, at the Chaoyang wedding registration office, said more than 200 people had booked their registrations for Monday in advance.
Spokesmen at marriage registration offices at Dongcheng, Xicheng, Haidian and Daxing districts all said they registered almost 200 couples on Monday.