BANGKOK, Feb 14 – Several thousand couples rushed to district offices to register their marriages on Saturday — St. Valentine’s Day — with Bang Rak district, which translates to “village of love” being one of the most popular districts for marriage registration in the capital, which can register only around 1,000 couples.
Pol Maj Gen Wichai Sangprapai, an advisor to the Bangkok governor, early on Valentine’s Day presided over the opening of the ‘Eternal Love at Bang Rak’ at Bang Rak district office in central Bangkok.
Many couples even arrived at the district office before the staff began distributing queue numbers at 6am.
Shortly afterwards, 10 prizes of gold-plated marriage certificates were given away to lucky winners.
Prizes would be given away to 265 lucky couples who received their certificate before 8am on an hourly basis until 2pm.
Several Thai traditional marriage customs were performed before by some of those couples rushing to register their marriage.
The performances include a parade of dowry, the pouring of nuptial waters and a dress competition promoting Thai culture.
Bang Rak district officer Supawadee Sitthikornpaiboon said her district office still received interest from those wishing to register their marriage certificate, even on normal days in which more than 40 couples would visit the office.
Even at Bang Plad district, or “the village of separation,” the atmosphere was not bad, as 15 couples arrived early in the morning to apply for marriage certificates.
Prizes, including electrical appliances, were given away to those early birds.
As love fills the air, the Royal Thai Police ordered policemen nationwide to alert youngsters, especially those aged under 18, to stay away from narcotics or be on the lookout for young girls lured to hotels.
Police were also ordered to patrol entertainment venues to prevent illegal activities from occurring.