MERCED — Dec. 12, 2012, or "12-12-12" as it's come to be known, was a remarkable day for some Mercedians.
For others, however, the triple 12 hoopla was nothing to be particularly excited about.
Nicole and Kalani Raquel of Merced definitely fit into the remarkable-day category, as they welcomed their second child, Zoie, at 4:42 a.m. Wednesday.
The baby arrived early for the couple, as Nicole's due date was Dec. 24.
Kalani, 28, said they had talked about how "cool" it would be if Zoie made her arrival on 12-12-12. "And her water broke," the proud father said.
Nicole, 27, went into labor about 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday. Zoie was born healthy, weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces. "I think it's pretty special, just like she is," the excited mother said of her daughter being born on 12-12-12.
Numerically speaking, Wednesday also had special significance.
Mayya Tokman, an applied mathematics assistant professor at UC Merced, said there are only 12 matching dates like "12-12-12" in a century. Dates where the same number represents the day, month and year happen only during the first 12 years of a century, when the years end with 1 through 12. The next time the day, month and year will match is Jan. 1, 2101.
Some people took the opportunity to tie the knot on the unique date.
Cecilia Guillen, 25, and Juan Amezcua, 28, of Atwater were one of 10 couples who were married Wednesday at the Merced County clerk's office.
Two weeks ago, they were in bed when Guillen suddenly asked Amezcua if he wanted to get married on 12-12-12.
"I said, 'OK,' " Amezcua said.
"We wanted something special," Guillen added.
The couple, who have a 5-month-old son, Roman, was excited and nervous minutes before they said, "I do" in front of a small group of family members.
"It's happening," Amez-cua said.
"This is a secret wedding," Guillen added. No relatives and friends other than those present during the ceremony knew about the couple getting married.
Jill McCabe, Merced County deputy clerk, said 12 wedding ceremonies had been set for Wednesday, but two had to reschedule.
The office typically doesn't get that many marriages in the middle of the week, McCabe said.
"That's more like a Friday," she said of Wednesday's busy schedule.
Some couples even traveled from other counties and even the Bay Area, McCabe said, because they weren't able to wed where they live Wednesday. "A lot of people wanted to get married today (12-12-12)," she said.
The clerk's next big day for weddings is, of course, Valentine's Day.
For some Mercedians, 12-12-12 was just another day.
Brian Holman, who was walking in downtown Merced on Wednesday, said he didn't see any significance in 12-12-12."I'll let everybody else be concerned about it," he said. "I'll go back to work."
Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (209) 385-2482 or firstname.lastname@example.org.