Will 08.08.08 certify marital bliss? We'll have to keep our fingers crossed! But for now, several Russian lovebirds aren't letting the day just pass by unnoticed. Apparently, the Siberian nation's marriage offices have been flooded with applications to wed this coming Friday, thanks to its strange auspiciousness- it represents the mathematical symbol for infinity. Hence the craze to tie the knot on 08.08.08, officials and local media say.
In Moscow, registry offices will stay open late as applications to marry on August 8 are up by more than two thirds compared to a normal Friday in summer, a spokeswoman for the city's registry offices, Yevgenia Smirnova, told AFP.
Normally between 900 and 1,000 marriages take place on a regular Friday or Saturday in summer, she said, but applications had already reached 1,675 by the end of last week.
"The administration is lengthening the working day and canceling the lunch break," said Smirnova. "We'll do our best to satisfy everyone and will do some extra decorating with balloons."
A similar surge occurred last year with the alignment of the figure seven on July 7. But many couples deem August 8 especially fortuitous, as the digit eight resembles the mathematical sign for infinity, newspapers said.
"Newly-weds are calling it the 'day of triple infinity' and believe a wedding on this day will bring luck," the Kommersant newspaper said on Friday, cautioning however: "Statistics show this not to be strictly the case."
In some towns marriage applications for the Friday are three times higher than normal, all available restaurants and limousines have been booked and one city, Tomsk, plans mass wedding celebrations on its central square, Kommersant said.
However it also said that in places up to a quarter of those who married on July 7 last year had already divorced.
The Moscow registry office spokeswoman also sounded skeptical, saying 43 marriages registered in the city on July 7 last year had ended in divorce.
"It's not really right to say responsibility for family happiness and prosperity can be attached to a particular date," said Smirnova.
The superstition is not confined to Russia. China will be opening its Beijing Olympics at 08.08pm on 08.08.08 to benefit from the supposed good luck.