Valentine’s Day – Related Vocabulary

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.

Valentine

情人 qíngrén

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?

Valentine's Day

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:

  1. Western Valentine’s Day is 西洋情人节 Xīyáng qíngrén jié and 
  2. 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?

July

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.

情人节

qíngrén jié

Valentine’s Day

二月十四日

èr yuè shísì rì

February 14th

中国情人节

zhōngguó qíngrén jié

Chinese Valentine’s Day

农历  七月七日

nónglì qī yuè qī rì

July 7th in Lunar calendar

huā

Flower

巧克力 

qiǎokèlì

Chocolate

情书

qíngshū

Love letter

礼物

lǐwù

Present

戒指

jièzhǐ

Ring

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! 

love

一见钟情 yī jiàn zhōng qíng

Love at first sight

我对她一见钟情。

Wǒ duì tā yījiànzhōngqíng.

I fell in love with her at first sight.

couple

天造地设 tiān zào dì shè

Literally made by Heaven and arranged by Earth, to be made for one another.

他们真是天造地设的一对。

Tāmen zhēnshi tiānzàodìshè de yī duì.

They are really made for each other.

broken heart

移情别恋 yí qíng bié liàn

Change of affection, to fall in love with somebody else.

她移情别恋了,不爱我了。

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!

告白 gàobái

Confession

我喜欢你!

Wǒ xǐhuān nǐ!

I like you!

做我女朋友吧!  

Zuò wǒ nǚ péngyǒu ba!

Can you be my girlfriend!?

求婚 qiúhūn

Propose

我爱你!

Wǒ ài nǐ!

I love you!

请你嫁给我吧!

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.

他们在一起是两情相悦,不是父母逼他们的。

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. 

他脚踏两只船,被女朋友发现了。

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:

当她一发现他两踏两只船,她立刻就跟他一刀两断。

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:

我从来不重色轻友,因为我没有过这种机会。

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,

他们五年前离婚,但是今年又破镜重圆了。

Tāmen wǔ nián qián líhūn, dànshì jīnnián yòu pòjìngchóngyuánle.

They divorced five years ago, but they reconciled and were reunited again this year.

Related posts and infographics

We have other 2 posts that are also fun to read and learn from!

Chinese slang – Romantic relationship

How to say I love you in Chinese

Valentine's Day Vocabulary Simplified Chinese Version

Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Vocabulary Traditional Chinese Version

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