City turns to superstition to attract wedding customers

City Council makes plans to wed couples during the coming alignment of Venus and Mars; critics deride the “ridiculous” and “freaky” idea

According to astrological charts, at 10:35am on 7 September 2013 Venus and Mars will be aligned in such a way as to virtually guarantee wedded bliss to couples who choose the date and time to get married. Although thinking people may have reservations about making perhaps the most important decision of their entire lives on an inexact pseudo-science, the City Council has hopped on board this particular starship with a vengeance.

The council had an astrologer put together a chart promising eternal happiness to couples who get married on September 7. And those who buy into the hocus-pocus won’t even need an appointment. Anyone deciding to get married on the magical day can simply walk into City Hall and tie the knot.

"The two planets represent the feminine and masculine energy in life and in marriage,” astrologer Karl Aage Jensen wrote in the special horoscope. “Both energies are strong on the day, so couples will benefit from getting married.”

Henrik Christoffersen, the head of research at liberal think-tank Cepos, said that  City Council had apparently gone a little crazy.

"It is ridiculous,” Christofferen told Kristeligt Dagblad newspaper. “A council is a community not a supermarket check-out line, and this is a complete levelling of values.”

Local churches are also hearing from couples who want to get married on the ‘special day’, but vicars are rejecting the superstitious element.

“If you believe in horoscopes, you accept superstition, and if we perform weddings at 10:35am on that day because of an astrological prediction, we are participating in superstitious behaviour,” Jørgen Christensen, the priest at Frederiksborg Church, told Kristeligt Dagblad.

Anna Mejlhede, the priest at Holmen’s Church in Copenhagen, also said that it was wrong to bring astrology into a church wedding.

“It’s freaky that the city is doing this,” she said. “There is no need for horoscopes in church – God is enough. I don’t think a couple will be any less blessed at 11:35 than they are at 10:35.”

Roger Buch, a researcher at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, said that it was up to the council to decide how to spend its money.

“Local authorities often use funds on art and culture projects that are hard to justify,” Buch told Kristeligt Dagblad. ”Some people shake their heads at those choices and others will shake their heads at this one.”

The head of Copenhagen’s wedding office, Flemming Otto, said that the city’s foray into the mystic does not mean that it does not take the institution of marriage seriously.

"We respond to the demands of the public,” Otto said. “We discovered the astrological significance of the date and decided to build a theme around it that some will take seriously while others will be indifferent.”

Otto said that 70 couples have already signed up to take their vows on September 7 and he expects even more as the date approaches. He said that the last mass wedding day occurred on 12/12/12 when 260 couples were married.

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