What's So Special About the Date 10/10/10?

On 07/07/07, couples ran to wedding chapels, and 08/08/08 was considered especially auspicious by the Chinese. Then Sept. 9, 2009 was heralded for its mathematical symmetry.

Those dates signaled the end of repeating, single-digit dates, at least for another 90 years. Which begs the question: Is there anything special about 10/10/10?

This repeating date isn't getting the short shrift, as it turns out, with numerous North American and British news outlets reporting that churches and city halls are booked solid for nuptials on Oct. 10, 2010.

Most happy couples will tie the knot on 10/10/10 for the novelty factor, and for the ease of remembering their anniversary, presumably, though there are other motivations for celebration.

Once again, the date in question is considered lucky in Chinese culture, because the number 10 represents perfection or completion, according to the "I Ching," an ancient Chinese text.

More modern or technologically-inclined brides and grooms may appreciate the "binary" nature of the date, which contains the ones-and-zeros pattern present in binary code, or the mathematical language "spoken" by computers to create all things digital. Converting the date 10/10/10 to binary code gives us 101010. And in the binary counting system, that number translates to 42, which means…absolutely nothing.

It isn't just weddings taking place on the 10th, however.

Getting married — with the large carbon footprint weddings produce — will likely be the very last item on the to-do lists of environmentalists on Oct. 10. More than 7,000 events are expected to take place in 188 countries as part of the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, "the single largest day of carbon-cutting action in the planet's history," according to the event's organizer, environmental advocacy group 350.org, which is attempting to raise awareness about global warming issues.

This article was provided by Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience.

Heather Whipps
Heather Whipps writes about history, anthropology and health for Live Science. She received her Diploma of College Studies in Social Sciences from John Abbott College and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from McGill University, both in Quebec. She has hiked with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and is an avid athlete and watcher of sports, particularly her favorite ice hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens. Oh yeah, she hates papaya.