Category: Society / December 12, 2012 9:14 AM EST
Twelve couples walked down the aisle at a group wedding in Hong Kong at 12pm local time (0400 GMT) on Wednesday 12/12/12.
The newly-weds were among the 696 couples who signed their marriage certificates on the special date in the former British colony, according to the Immigration Department that oversees the marriage registry.
The number of marriages on Wednesday is a surge from the city's average of 160 weddings per day, according to data from the government's census.
"Twelve" is a number that signifies completion for the Chinese, said wedding planner Jacco Yeung.
"From 8/8/08, 9/9/09 to 10, 11, every year couples put a lot of attention on these dates, but today is the last (of these special dates) in this century. So many pairs of newly-weds rush and hope to get married on such a day in history," said Yeung, who was not involved in the planning of Wednesday's mass wedding.
The next time there's the same number for the date, month and year format would be on January 1, 2101.
Bride Rainbow Ng said 12 also sounds like "need love" in Mandarin.
"12-12 is like, in Mandarin it's "yao ai, yao ai, yao ai" (meaning: "need love, need love, need love") So, as I said it's really special, and it's just a date that we both won't forget," Ng said.
"And I'll give her 'yao ai,' I think it means 'need love,' so I'll give her a lot of, a lot of, a lot of love," her Hong Kong-born Pakistani groom, Naveed Khan, added.
Another couple said their friends' weddings on similar dates inspired them to pick 12/12/12 for their big day.
"Actually, last year some of my friends got married on 11-11-11. we saw that and thought it was really romantic. Their weddings were really good, so we also wanted to get married on such a day this year. And coincidentally, 12-12-12 is the last of such dates in this century. If we don't get married this year, there won't be a similar chance next year," said groom Lau Chi Chung.
Last year, 1,002 pairs of couples got married on 11/11/11, and 859 pairs wedded on 10/10/10, according to government statistics.