CHINA - Bride Yan Mengxia's big day turned into a nightmare when she became stuck in heavy traffic on the way to her wedding during the National Day holiday.
Yan, from Cixi, Zhejiang province, set off at 1 pm on Oct 1 on a 300-kilometer journey to Yongkang, where her fiance and the couple's guests were waiting for her to arrive for the evening ceremony.
The anxious fiance kept calling the hotline of FM93 Traffic Radio for updates on road conditions. At 4 pm, he was told there was no chance of his bride arriving in time - so the radio station conducted the ceremony over the airwaves.
"Traffic" and "jam" were among the most commonly used words on social media and in conversations between friends over the holiday.
On Tuesday, the last day of the weeklong break, more than 10 million passengers were expected to travel on the country's railways.
The total number of people traveling by rail during the holiday is estimated to have reached 68 million, China Railway Corp said on Tuesday.
Beijing welcomed a large number of returning travelers on Tuesday, with vehicles on the G6 Beijing-Tibet Expressway at a virtual standstill at 1 pm. Traffic on the Daqing-Guangzhou Expressway started to build up at 2 pm.
Travelers who struggled through traffic jams to reach popular tourist attractions required further patience once they arrived.
Visitors at the former residence of Chairman Mao in Shaoshan, Hunan province, had to wait three hours to buy a ticket after a queue of 4,000 people built up.
"I waited almost three hours to have a look at the Leshan Grand Buddha," said Wang Wenshuai, who visited the site in Sichuan province on Oct 5.
"The 71-meter-tall Buddha statue is a must-see attraction, but you could barely move to the front side of it because of the crowds."
People were even waiting in line to marry. Qin Siyu, a member of the administrative staff at a primary school in Beijing, held her wedding at her husband's hometown in Anhui province.
"My husband was very surprised," Qin said. "We found ourselves part of a wedding rush as three other members of his junior high school class had arranged to hold their weddings over three consecutive days from Oct 2.
"What is more, three of the four held their ceremonies in the same hotel."
Some of the details of Qin's party were not finalized until 10 pm on the eve of the big day because the town's wedding planning agency was so busy.
"But our schedule was not the most packed," she added. "My husband's other classmates had to attend four wedding banquets in three days."
Contact the writers at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com