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Marriage is in the air during holiday

(China Daily)

09:25, October 08, 2011

A total of 110 couples from China and abroad don traditional Chinese attire at a group wedding at the lakeside of the West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Thursday. (China Daily Photo)

SHANGHAI - The 25-year-old Shanghai native Liu Yiwei has had an exhausting holiday during the past seven days. Rather than traveling or working overtime, she was busy hopping from one place to another arming "red bombs" with piles of cash.

"Red bomb" is the popular name for the red envelopes with money that are given as wedding gifts.

"Weddings are supposed to be joyful occasions filled with blessings. But when too many pile up, you feel rushed to complete a series of tasks," said Liu, who attended two weddings in the past week, one of which she was also "working" as the bridesmaid.

The weddings can also be a "burden" because, according to Chinese tradition, guests should give couples red envelopes containing money as blessings.

"There are no rules specifying how much money you should give at a wedding. It's generally determined by how close you are to the couple," Liu said .

"But the common practice is to give no less than 300 to 500 yuan ($47 to $78). Sometimes, it can be a huge proportion of your salary."

A netizen nicknamed "xiaoxie", in Guangdong province, has had a similar experience. The office clerk in her twenties attended five weddings in three days during the holiday. She wrote in her blog that she had become "more familiar with the routines of wedding ceremonies than the brides and grooms were".

As most of the eighties generation in China has reached prime marriage age, Liu, like millions of her peers, is seeing a new boom of weddings. The weeklong National Day Holiday, one of the two longest holidays in China, has become the most popular time for weddings.

"It's marriage season," said Liu. "Almost all of my friends are either getting married during these seven days or going to weddings."

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sanarco at 2011-10-08124.210.129.*
The trend looks promising an increasing number of babies next year which will bring about further expansion of population in China. On the other hand, I am interested in the divorce rate among this generation.

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