What's the big deal with 080808?
In Malaysia, it is a big deal. Many Chinese in particular are rushing to marry or registered on such an auspicious date. It is because, I quote from Wikipedia, The word for "eight" (八，捌) in Chinese (Pinyin: bā) sounds similar to the word which means "prosper" or "wealth" (发 - short for "发财", Pinyin: fā). In regional dialects the words for "eight" and "fortune" are also similar, eg Cantonese "baat" and "faat". Therefore, triple eight constitutes to triple wealth and fortune! ;)
In fact, there is this website in Malaysia, whereby people are encouraged to post their wedding pictures to show the collection of mosaic of marriages on this auspicious date. Wait till 090808, then you can see the number of married couple on that auspicious day through the images posted in that website.
Well, it is considered a big deal since when you think, "When will the next time the date will be 080808? Would you be able to live till then?" This twentieth century started out with dates from 01010 to 080808. Every year onwards till 2012, we will get the triple digit date. Therefore, these uniques dates mark many events and occasions.
I noticed that even hotels are taking this opportunity to profit to the maximum. For a Chinese wedding dinner (10 seats per table), it will cost around RM500 to RM1500 (depending on the location of the dinner). For hotels in Klang Valley these days, wedding dinners are charged above RM1000 per table.
I heard from my friend, on this particular date, 080808, the price doubled. It cost the bride and bridegroom an extra RM1000 per table. Therefore, go do the maths and imagine how much they have to fork out for the event. (I wonder if the guests who gives the ang pau will consider this, in deciding the amount for the ang pau).
Besides the steep price, booking a venue for your wedding dinner on this particular day must have taken at least a few years ahead, I presume. Normally, my friends told me on normal days or "auspicious" dates, you need to book at least a year ahead.
In fact, hotels are also coming up with simple dinner on such a day with themes like "080808 Prosperity Dinner". I caught a banner beside a hotel advertising this special 080808 dinner. I wonder if the price of the dinner will cost RM888? ;)
Therefore, would you make your 080808 this year a special day with an elaborate celebration like you would do on New Years? Or will it just pass on as another day in your life? It's up to you, but I bet there will be fireworks at night! ;)
Oh yeah, what about the babies born on this auspicious day? Imagine the kid proudly telling his/her friends, "I was born on 080808!!" ;)
As if 080808 equals to luck, just like association of 007 with James Bond.