(MENAFN - NewsIn.Asia) Colombo, Dec 17 (newsin.asia) - A grand mass wedding ceremony with the participation of 50 Chinese couples took place in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Sunday as part of the the government's agenda to promote Sri Lanka as an ideal wedding destination.
The ceremony which was held in the Colombo Municipal Council grounds was attended by Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Tourism, John Amaratunga, Minister of Health, Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Petroleum, Arjuna Ranatunga and China's Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang.
The mass wedding ceremony, which was the first of its kind to be held in Sri Lanka, is expected to further increase ties between Sri Lanka and China. The event was organised by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, the Ministry of Tourism and the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka.
Western Megapolis Minister, Champika Ranawaka, speaking at the ceremony, thanked the couples for choosing Sri Lanka as their wedding destination and said both nations shared strong and historical ties since ancient times.
"Sri Lanka is very proud to be selected as the destination for these couples to celebrate the most important days of their lives," Ranawaka said.
He added that while this event would also promote Sri Lanka's beauty globally, Sri Lanka itself was undergoing further development with the construction of new hotels and other areas catering especially for tourists.
Tourism Minister, John Amaratunga told newsin.asia that while this was the first time Sri Lanka was hosting a mass wedding for Chinese couples, this event would help boost Sri Lanka's tourism.
"We hope through this event, many other couples, from other parts of the world, will select Sri Lanka as their wedding destination," Amaratuga said.
The brides and grooms were dressed in typical Sri Lankan wedding attire, traditional Chinese wedding outfits and gowns and tuxedos.
After the traditional dances. the couples were accompanied into heavily decorated tents where each couple exchanged rings while a holy thread was also tied on their fingers amidst religious chanting.
Twenty eight year old Kuaicong and her husband, who had traveled to Colombo to be wedded in the ceremony from Shanghai said that she had enjoyed taking part in the mass wedding and she looked forward to exploring Sri Lanka.
"From the day we arrived we have been treated very well. This is my first trip to Sri Lanka and I look forward to exploring the Central Hills of Kandy. I will always return back to Sri Lanka," Kuaicong said.
The 28 year old newly wedded bride said she had learnt of this mass wedding ceremony through her friends and immediately contacted the organizers for more information.
"I am glad that my husband and I got the opportunity to have our wedding in Sri Lanka."
Wang Yan, a bride who participated in the mass wedding said that she too had learnt of the event through her friends and she was happy to select Sri Lanka as her wedding destination.
"The people here are very friendly and we have been treated so well. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country," she said.
The couples, on Monday, will be taken on a tour of Yala, Sigiriya and Kandy, which are popular tourist spots in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists with China currently being the second largest market.