September’s not an auspicious month for Chinese weddings

JOHOR BARU: Long weekends and significant dates like 9/9 (Sept 9) are typically popular for weddings but most Chinese couples are avoiding tying the knot in September this year despite having four public holidays this month.

Johor Baru Tiong-Hua Association deputy president Datuk Kelvin Lee said this September was an unpopular month to get married as it coincided with the Chinese ghost month according to the lunar calendar.

He said the entire lunar seventh month, when the gates of hell are said to be open and spirits roam the world once a year for the Hungry Ghost Festival, is typically shunned by those planning to hold auspicious events.

Despite having major public holidays in September, Lee said couples are avoiding the taboo.

Besides tying the knot, other activities commonly avoided during the ghost month includes overseas trips, starting a new business and moving house. This year’s ghost month falls between Aug 22 and Sept 19.

“Due to this, the association’s annual 9/9 mass wedding ceremony had to be pushed a month later to 10/10 (Oct 10), which is also a favourite date for couples because of the double digits,” he said.

Lee added that during last year’s Sept 9 mass wedding ceremony, 73 couples were successfully registered.

Lee said that the association usually conducts four mass wedding ceremonies annually – one for each quarter – in accordance with the four seasons.

He said other popular dates for lovebirds are Feb 14 (Valentine’s Day), May 20 (520, which sounds like “I love you” in Mandarin), Sept 9 and Dec 25 (Christmas).

He also said about 1,000 couples register their marriages at the association each year.

Those who want to say “I do” to their other halves on Oct 10 can still do so by calling the association at 07-278 8999.