This is an auspicious day in Chinese culture. No, not because it is the start of the Beijing Olympics. It's quite the other way around. The olympics were scheduled to start on 08/08/08 because "the number eight has long been considered fortuitous in China," according to an Associated Press story Tuesday.
In China, the pronunciation of the word eight sounds like the phrase for great fortune, said Han-Chia Li, an instructor of Chinese at the University of Mississippi. A reported record 9,000 Chinese couples plan to tie the knot that day.
This is analogous to the 07/07/07 date last year, when a record number of American couples tried to get lucky.
But unless your schedule is chock full of weddings, check out Ancestry.com's latest international website. No, it's not www.ancestry.cn. (There's a cyber squatter sitting on that domain name.) For some reason, Ancestry.com chose to use a Chinese word to name the website. Go figure...
The actual website is www.jiapu.cn. Jiāpu doesn't mean Ancestry, but is actually the Chinese word for Genealogy, although Family History is an acceptable translation as well. In fact, FamilySearch uses jiāpu as the translation for the Family History in Family History Center (as this example shows). Literally, jiā pu means family registry, list or table. It can also be translated as family musical score, which suggests my identification of genealogists with anciest shaman (see Genealogists are the new shaman).
When you check out http://jiapu.cn, if you don't have the proper fonts on your computer you'll see a bunch of rectangles in place of the Chinese characters that should be displayed. Oh, well. The proper characters don't mean much more to me than the rectangles. Here's a screen shot, in case the characters don't display correctly on your computer:
Even if you can't read it, click around. Check out your Wang or Chen ancestors. I understand that just poking around the site will bring good luck on triple-8 day! :-)
The entire text of the announcement can be read on The Generations Network website.