Valentine’s Day is a day that many people will celebrate. We all know that the western Valentine’s Day is February 14th. But when is the Chinese Valentine’s Day? How do you say Valentine and Valentine’s Day in Chinese? How do people celebrate Valentine’s Day in China? We have made a fun infographic to talk about some MUST-KNOW Chinese Valentine’s Day vocabulary. We will also talk about the history of this special day.
How do you say Valentine in Chinese?
How do you say Valentine in Chinese? It is 情人 qíngrén. 情 qín means feeling, emotion and passion. And 人 rén means person. Isn’t it neat? So, the person you have the feeling and emotion towards, and you have passion for, should be the person you love!
How do you say Valentine's Day in Chinese?
In short, Valentine’s Day in Chinese is 情人节 qíngrén jié. But how do you separate the Western Valentine’s Day and the Chinese Valentine’s Day? This is how to say them:
- Western Valentine’s Day is 西洋情人节 Xīyáng qíngrén jié and
- Chinese Valentine’s Day is 七夕情人节 Qīxì qíngrén jié.
And here is the history as to why this day is called 七夕 Qīxì and how Chinese Valentine’s Day came about.
The Chinese Valentine’s Day is a Chinese festival that celebrates the annual meeting of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl in mythology. The Cowherd (牛郎 Niú láng) and the Weaver Girl (织女 Zhīnǚ) is a Chinese folk tale. Their love was not allowed (there are different versions of their love story). There is a heavenly river between them and they are only allowed to see each other once a year and that day is the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. Here is one of the versions of their story.
七夕 Qīxì literally means “the evening of seventh.” That is the day and time they can meet each other. That is where the name comes from. There are some similarities between this story and Romeo and Juliet (罗密欧与茱丽叶 Luōmì’ōu yǔ zhū lì yè).
When is Chinese Valentine’s Day?
So, when is Chinese Valentine’s Day? Since this festival falls on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, it means it will be on different dates every year. For your reference, here are the dates for the coming few years:
2020 Chinese Valentine’s Day: Tuesday, August 25
2021 Chinese Valentine’s Day: Saturday, August 14
2022 Chinese Valentine’s Day: Thursday, August 4
There is also a Chinese Valentine’s Day which falls on the 7th of July on the lunar calendar. The day is called “七夕 qī xì.”
Valentine’s Day – Related Vocabulary
We have listed some commonly used words for Valentine’s Day. They can be used for either the western or Chinese Valentine’s Day. Let’s learn them together.
èr yuè shísì rì
zhōngguó qíngrén jié
Chinese Valentine’s Day
nónglì qī yuè qī rì
July 7th in Lunar calendar
For the advanced, there are three idioms to learn! Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? Do you think you and your partner are perfect for each other? Or have you had a bad experience in a relationship? These idioms will help you describe these concepts!
一见钟情 yī jiàn zhōng qíng
Love at first sight
Wǒ duì tā yījiànzhōngqíng.
I fell in love with her at first sight.
天造地设 tiān zào dì shè
Literally made by Heaven and arranged by Earth, to be made for one another.
Tāmen zhēnshi tiānzàodìshè de yī duì.
They are really made for each other.
移情别恋 yí qíng bié liàn
Change of affection, to fall in love with somebody else.
Tā yí qíng bié liànle, bù ài wǒle.
She fell in love with someone else. She doesn’t love me anymore.
Would you like to confess your love or propose on this special day? The simplest way to do so is by telling them!
Wǒ xǐhuān nǐ!
I like you!
Zuò wǒ nǚ péngyǒu ba!
Can you be my girlfriend!?
Wǒ ài nǐ!
I love you!
Qǐng nǐ jià gěi wǒ ba!
Would you like to marry me?
How do Chinese celebrate Valentine's Day?
To be honest, I think it is very similar to what people do in western culture. Flowers, chocolates, presents, and confessing your love to the one you love are all very common on this special day. Since the Internet and traveling have become popular, people value the western Valentine’s Day and Chinese Valentine’s Day (Qixi Festival) pretty equally now. Both dates have become a huge market for chocolate companies, restaurants, and flower shops.
Bonus! Chinese idioms and slang
Bonus: There are many sides to romantic relationships. They can be happy, or bitter, or mixed feelings. We have listed some more Chinese idioms here.
爱屋及乌 / 愛屋及烏 Àiwūjíwū
Literally: Love the house and its crow
This idiom means if you love someone, you are involved not only with them but also everyone who is connected with them. Like the saying in English: Love me, love my dog.
两情相悦 / 兩情相悅 Liǎng qíng xiāng yuè
(of a couple) to be harmonious, to be each other’s sunshine.
Tāmen zài yīqǐ shì liǎng qíng xiāng yuè, bùshì fùmǔ bī tāmen de.
They are together because they love each other, not because their parents forced them to be together.
脚踏两只船 / 腳踏兩隻船 Jiǎo tà liǎng zhī chuán
Literal: Feet on two different boats
This idiom is used to describe a person who is having an affair and is not faithful in a romantic relationship.
Tā jiǎo tà liǎng zhī chuán, bèi nǚ péngyǒu fāxiànle.
He is cheating on his girlfriend and she found out.
一刀两断 / 一刀兩斷 Yīdāoliǎngduàn
Literally: Two segments with a single cut
This idiom means to make a clean break. We often use this idiom to describe when a relationship ends with a clean and clear break. For instance:
Dāng tā yī fà xiàn tā liǎng tà liǎng zhī chuán, tā lìkè jiù gēn tā yīdāoliǎngduàn.
As soon as she found he was having an affair, she immediately broke up with him.
重色轻友 / 重色輕友 Zhòng sè qīng yǒu
This idiom is used to describe a person that is paying more attention to a lover than friends. Some people, when they do not have a partner, always have friends around. But once they have a boyfriend or girlfriend, their partner gets much more attention. Here is a funny example:
Wǒ cónglái bu zhòng sè qīng yǒu, yīnwèi wǒ méiyǒuguò zhè zhǒng jīhuì.
I never pay more attention to my lover than my friends. I never have a chance to do so.
破镜重圆 / 破鏡重圓 Pòjìngchóngyuán
Literally: A shattered mirror put back together
This idiom is mainly used to describe a marriage. Some couples did not work out during their first marriage, but they finally find a way to reconcile and reunite again. For instance,
Tāmen wǔ nián qián líhūn, dànshì jīnnián yòu pòjìngchóngyuánle.
They divorced five years ago, but they reconciled and were reunited again this year.