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Seeking Mao’s Matrimonial Blessing

Shaoshan, the birthplace of Mao Zedong, is no stranger to visitors: Last year, 8.5 million tourists journeyed to this small, county-level city in the mountains of Hunan Province. But on the morning of Nov. 10, with just over a month until the highly anticipated 120th anniversary of the chairman’s birth, Shaoshan hosted a new kind of pilgrim: 50 couples from across China who came to the city to participate in a “Collective Red Wedding.”

The slogan of the event: “Have Chairman Mao Bear Witness to Our Love.”

If this strikes some readers as an odd way to tie the knot, consider that more than 100 people applied for the 50 spots. On Monday morning, the beaming lovebirds exchanged vows in Mao Zedong Square under a 33-foot, 3.7-ton bronze statue of the Great Helmsman: “From today onward, I will reject the societal trend toward materialistic, selfish and emotionless marriages. I will make my marriage a sincere one, forever and ever.”...

Read entire article at New York Times