November 11th, 2011
07:31 AM GMT
(CNN) –Today, November 11, 2011 or 11/11/11, marks the second to last repetitive date of its kind this century—12/12/2012 will be the last—and around the world weddings, births, the Egyptian pyramids and even corduroy are being influenced by the supposed cosmic significance attached to this date.
The date, which happens to be Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in Commonwealth countries, is a perfect palindrome and occurs only once a century.
Couples all over the world are scrambling to get married on this supposedly auspicious date. In Las Vegas, the Clark County clerk’s office has already received 3,500 applications for marriages on November 11; usually there are only 1,000 applications per month, the International Business Times reported.
Chapel of the Flowers is holding 80 weddings, around triple their daily average of around 20 to 30 couples, Aimee Stephens, marketing director, told CNN.
“We have been prepared for this,” Stephens said. “People seem to love these numeric occurrences.”
Similarly in Singapore, 574 couples are set to tie the knot, but wedding planners, hotels and official marriage figures suggest that there will be more marriages, 607, on November 20, or 20/11/2011, according to the Strait Times.
In China, November 11 has been celebrated each year as an unofficial “Singles’ Day” since it was first created by a group of college students in Nanjing in the 1990s. The ones in the date represent “unattached sticks,” a Chinese term for single people.
One mall in northeastern China’s Shenyang, Liaoning province has asked employees to dress up in bear costumes and beat couples showing signs of affection with inflatable hammers, according to China Daily.
Despite the date representing bachelorhood in popular culture, many couples are still looking at the date as an auspicious date to get married, interpreting the ones as signifying “the one,” China Daily reports.
Shanghai’s civil affairs authority had received more than 3,500 applications for registering marriages today, and in Nanjing there over 3,000 couples registering their marriages, more than 10 times the normal amount, according to Xinhua.
In India, in addition to a surge of weddings, many couples are inducing or delaying labor in hopes of having their child born on 11/11/11.
“It is an attractive date, and if it is not unsafe to advance or postpone by a day or two, most couples would rather have their baby on this day. We are doing three such cases," Dr. Preety Agarwal, senior gynecologist at Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, told the Times of India.
Advertisers are also taking advantage of the “ones” in a century palindrome date for promotional purposes. Verizon Wireless will release the highly anticipated Motorola Droid Razr today at exactly 11:11am. Chinese Internet retail giant Taobao is offering huge discounts on its website in celebration of Singles’ Day. A horror movie aptly called 11.11.11 is being released today in the United States.
The Corduroy Appreciation Club is not only holding celebrations all over the United States, but has also been celebrating the 10 days leading up to 11/11/11, for a total of 11 days of celebration. According to their website, “the number 11, being a figure which closely resembles Corduroy, is extremely important to the CAC’s iconography.”
But some are wary of how extremists will interpret the date. In response to pressure from Internet users claiming strange rituals would take place at the Egyptian pyramids, the site will be closed to visitors, according to Agence France Presse.
Some see a mystical connection between the number 11 and disasters, such as the 9/11 attacks. Websites dedicated to numerical examinations of 9/11 point out various connections between the attacks and the number 11: The flight was American Airlines Flight 11, the twin towers, standing side by side, looked like the number 11, and after September 11 there are 111 days left until the end of the year. The last 11/11/11 one hundred years ago in 1911 saw the Great Blue Norther cold front sweep through parts of the United States. In some areas temperatures plunged over 30 degrees Celsius in one day.
But Wake Forest University Physicist Eric Carlson, who studies numbers as a hobby, told CNN that the date has no significance beyond its numerical perfection.
“These patterns stick in our minds,” Carlson said. “But I don’t think there is any mystical significance to it.”
But some just think it’s cool. One Facebook group, “If I miss 11/11/11 11:11 I will be pissed,” currently has 903,133 members, and is hoping to achieve 111,111,111 members by today.
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