The Anniversary Confusion: Why we have two wedding anniversaries

The Anniversary Confusion: Why we have two wedding anniversaries

An anniversary can be a very important day for some people. For a couple an anniversary is a meaningful milestone that deserves to be celebrated.

Yesterday, exactly four years ago, we went to get our red little Chinese wedding booklets.

In China registering the marriage and having a wedding ceremony are two different things. Even if you have legally registered your marriage, most traditional families don’t consider you married yet. As it was in our case.

After months of complicated hunt for documents, notarizations, legalisations and translations, we finally had everything to register our marriage and become legally husband and wife. But my husband’s family didn’t really consider married (neither did the neighbours for that matter). Only after the official wedding ceremony in the village would people see us as a married couple.

IMG_5049_副本So, we had to set up another date for our wedding ceremony. Traditionally China uses the lunar calendar, so mother-in-law looked up an auspicious day on which we should hold our big party to announce to the world (or the Chinese village): We are married!

Mother-in-law chose the 10th of October of the Lunar Calendar, which was the 22nd of December our calendar. I am not going into detail about the ceremony (that I will safe for its own post), but you can see so far we already have three possible dates for our wedding anniversary. (If we would have arranged another wedding ceremony in Germany, we would add one more date to the list).

With men notoriously forgetting anniversaries, having so many possible anniversary dates doesn’t make it easier on them. There is no need to put pressure on the partner, but an anniversary can be a great way to show your love.

Why I think an anniversary is important

IMG_1722_副本For me an anniversary is a great way to remember the past. Doing something together as simple as having a meal and just remembering the day we met and got married helps me reminding myself why we fell in love in the first place and why we got married. I think it is very important to make time for each other in a relationship, but with our busy lives with work and other obligations it is easy to let our relationship take a backseat. An anniversary gives us a great opportunity to focus on it again.

When celebrating an anniversary you also create new memories that in the future will always give you something to talk about. We love to use our anniversaries as an excuse to go on vacation or just a simple date. And every year we add more happy memories to our life.

I always tend to meticulously document our celebrations with photos, so later we can look back at the pictures where we both looked happy and in love and it will always help us to relive that warm and fuzzy feeling.


So having several dates for our wedding anniversary, even though confusing, is actually a good thing. We can choose any of the dates. Whichever is convenient at that time. We never put much pressure on sticking to the exact date, but we try to have a special day (or days) just for us two, to celebrate us as a couple.


Do you celebrate anniversaries? Do you think they are important?


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Anna Z. is a freelance illustrator and portrait artist in her late 20s, with a passion for Martial Arts and Chinese culture, and is the creator of Lost Panda, a blog to China and Art. Together with her husband, a Chinese national, she writes about daily life in rural China, focusing on cultural and social differences and the joys (and sometimes difficulties) as an intercultural couple. Apart from China related topics, she publishes her artwork, photography, art material reviews and tutorials to help more people discover their creative side. She is fluent in German, English and Mandarin Chinese.

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