Newly-wed ethnic Chinese in Malaysia pose during a photo session at a mass wedding ceremony in front of Thean Hou temple in Kuala Lumpur.

Newly-wed ethnic Chinese in Malaysia pose during a photo session at a mass wedding ceremony in front of Thean Hou temple in Kuala Lumpur.

Over five hundred Malaysian couples tied the knot at a Buddhist temple on Wednesday, in a mass wedding held on the auspicious “999” date which signifies hopes for a long-lasting marriage.

Mass weddings were also held simultaneously at several others places in Malaysia, which has a large Chinese community alongside majority Muslim Malays and minority ethnic Indians.

“I chose this date ‘999’ as it signifies everlasting love,” construction supervisor Thomas Wong, 30, said as his new bride, 25-year-old accountant Ivy Tan, stood by his side.

“I hope to give my wife a memorable wedding, it’s once in a lifetime we get these auspicious numbers,” he told AFP at the Thean Hou temple in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

The date of 9/9/09 is seen as auspicious by many ethnic Chinese, because the number 9 sounds like “forever” in the Chinese pronunciation.

A spokesman at the temple said the last biggest mass wedding was on August 8 last year, or ‘888’ which is also deemed good luck in Chinese numerology as ‘8’ can mean “prosperous”.

“We had 470 couples then and this year we have 556 — I believe this is the largest mass wedding in the country so far,” organiser Kong Cher Peng said.

-AFP