A district of the Romanian capital is celebrating hundreds of couples who have been married for at least half a century by handing out cash awards and inviting them to a joint lunch.

Bucharest's fifth district town hall says it has given each golden anniversary couple 1,000 lei ($255) to honor family and marriage.

Some 600 people participated in the festive three-course lunch and dance Monday.

Organizer Florentina Popescu said the longest marriage in the district had lasted 66 years. "They are an example for all of us what marriage means," she said.

One of the participants was Silvia Agapi, 72, who has been married for 52 ½ years.

"We started from the idea that we wanted to do everything possible to make the other person happy," she said.