Monday, March 23, 2009

09 - 09 - 09 not so hot lah !

THE number nine - jiu in Mandarin - sounds like and is symbolic of 'a long time' in Mandarin.

The triple-nine date - Sept 9, 2009 - seems an auspicious date but it is far from being a hot pick with couples getting married this year.

The reason? It falls within the Hungry Ghost Festival, which runs from Aug 20 to Sept 18 this year, in the seventh month of the lunar calendar and is considered very inauspicious.

A check of several major hotels by my paper found that there have been very few bookings on that date.

Ms Rae Tang, marketing-communications manager for Marina Mandarin hotel, said: 'We have had a few enquiries on this date, but as it falls within the period of the Hungry Ghost Festival, most couples are still hesitant to confirm their reservations.'

At the Grand Hyatt hotel, there has been 'little interest from couples from the Chinese community', said public-relations manager Patricia Yong.

Wedding planners also noticed a similar trend.

Ms Kim Tay, founder of Wedding Concierge, told my paper that it may not just be the 'inauspicious' timing of the triple-nine date that is putting couples off.

Ms Tay said: 'It also falls on a Wednesday. Couples tend to want to have their weddings on weekends.'

Last year's Aug 8 date - an auspicious date as the number eight is synonymous with good luck in Chinese culture - also fell within the Hungry Ghost Festival. It saw just 308 wedding ceremonies being performed, compared to the 772 held on July 7 the previous year which fell outside inauspicious periods. -- MY PAPER

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