IT is viewed by many as one of the luckiest days of the century and it certainly was for one Edinburgh mum who gave birth to a bouncing baby boy.

Mimi Anderson and her husband Colin welcomed baby Matthew to the world weighing 10lb 5oz at 6.48am on December 12, 2012 – or rather 12-12-12.

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Elsewhere at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Chidinma Oriunuebho gave birth to Glory, whose brother and sister were also born in December. Chidinma, 38, explained the naming process behind the 8lb 4oz little bundle of joy.

She said: "It's a special day and that's why I wanted to call her Glory, because it's a glorious day today.

"I'm so happy, but it wasn't planned at all she was due on December 5, so it was a complete coincidence."

Symmetrical numbers like this occur on the calendar only 12 times each century and are looked upon as a good omen. The next date will not be until January 1, 2101 (01-01-01).

The Andersons were not alone in making the most of the momentous date as couples flocked to Scotland's marriage capital to make their wedding vows.

A record 51 couples tied the knot at Gretna – eight in the registration office with the others in the official marriage venues including the former blacksmiths shop where couples used to forge their vows over the anvil in olden times.

The village was in festive mood for the pre-Christmas nuptials. Pipers played, ribbon-bedecked limousines and carriages transported the happy couples and bridal parties toasted the newlyweds.

The couples all gave the same reason for their choice of date. "It's special, unforgettable," they said. And why Gretna? "For the romance," they agreed.

Plasterer James and pharmacy assistant Julie, both from High Peak, Derbyshire, were accompanied at their wedding in the famous Old Blacksmiths Shop by their sons James, 24, and Benjamin, 21.

"We didn't want a big church do," said Julie. "We thought it would be nice here and we were not disappointed."

Donna Heaney, 44, from Wallasey, Merseyside, will never forget the day her fiance Sean Reynolds, 46, from Blackpool, popped the question.

She said: "We were out for a meal and he went on a small stage, got down on one knee and made a speech. I accepted right away."

Gretna was just what the doctor ordered for NHS workers Martin Ball, 54, and 41-year-old Anne Marsden, both from Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

"We visited the village and saw other weddings here before we made our plans," said the bride. " It was very special here. We'll never forget it."

Nick Challionor and his bride Michelle Bevan, both 30 and from Stoke-on-Trent, described the Gretna experience as "something different".

"The special date and the romance of the place mean its something we will always remember," they said.

Old Blacksmiths Shop spokeswoman Lynda Denton said: "It has been marvellous, very busy and lots of wonderful ceremonies. The magic dates usually attract small wedding parties and that's how it was today. It was really special."