Saturday, August 4, 2012

Does the Chinese Zodiac affect when people marry?

In an earlier post, I wrote about how births go up during dragon years, an auspicious year for having children. Because of this, Chinese couples might like to get married in the rabbit year, the year before the dragon year, to have a dragon baby. This, at least, is what I heard from a friend who had trouble booking a wedding venue in the rabbit year. Does this bear out in the data?

The chart below shows the number of couples tying the knot each year. On average, 22,000 - 24,000 weddings are held every year - that's about 450 weddings every week!

Now focus on two years - the year before the dragon year, in orange, and the year before that, in red. The red years are tiger years, and are clearly not popular for weddings. Couples looking for vacant (and hence cheaper) wedding venues should take heed. 

Why is are tiger years unpopular? Going by the orange spikes (rabbit years) following the red years, couples might be holding out during the tiger years, so as to marry in the rabbit years and have children in the dragon years that follow. But why not just marry during the red years and hold out for a year before having children?

A simpler explanation is that tiger years are thought to be unlucky for marriages, and vice versa for rabbit years. Whatever it is, it does look like people do take the Chinese Zodiac seriously when it comes to marriages. 

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