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5 Ways to Confess Your Love on Chinese Valentine’s Day

Aug. 26, 2020

The seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar is the Chinese Qixi Festival, meaning it falls on August 25 this year.The Qixi Festival symbolizes love, a day of romantic celebration between individuals and their significant others.

The festival is based on the legend of a cowherd and a weaver girl who designated this specific night to meet at the “Magpie Bridge” each year. While many young adults fashionably celebrate February 14th as Valentine’s Day, Qixi is the actual Chinese equivalent.

Similar to Valentine’s Day in the West, traditional gifts like roses and chocolates often mark the occasion, and the day is seen as opportunity to confess one’s feelings of “like” or “love” for someone else, often with grand displays of affection.

01

我喜欢你(wǒ xǐhuān nǐ): I like you.

我爱你(wǒ ài nǐ): I love you.

Both of these are very direct and commonly used ways to express love, but, “我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ) I love you” of course conveys a stronger and deeper feeling than, “我喜欢你 (wǒ xǐhuān nǐ) I like you”.

But in fact, there are many more intricate and meaningful ways to tell someone in Chinese that you love, or like, them. If you can use these correctly, you’ll appear all the more sincere and maybe even impress the other person!

02

我养你啊(wǒ yǎng nǐ a): I raise you

Many girls will be moved by this classic line from one of Xingchi Zhou’s movies. Even more than a declaration of love, this is a lifelong promise that shows your willingness to rely on each other and be together no matter the situation.

03

执子之手,与子偕老(zhí zǐ zhī shǒu, yǔ zi xiélǎo)

执(zhí): hold on.

偕(xié): together.

This sentence comes from the “诗经 (shījīng) Book of Songs”. The original meaning of “执子之手,与子偕老 (zhí zǐ zhī shǒu, yǔ zi xiélǎo)” refers to a pledge between warriors. They swore to live and die together and, grasping each other’s hands, entered the battlefield.

While such dramatic life and death situations may not be on your mind this Valentine’s day, the power and emotion of the phrase still stands.

Nowadays, it’s used to refer to holding someone’s hand, growing old with them, and being in love with them forever. This calls to mind lyrics from a song, “The Most Romantic Thing” – “The most romantic thing I can think of is to grow old with you.”

04

山有木兮木有枝,心悦君兮君不知(shān yǒu mù xī mù yǒu zhī, xīn yuè jūn xī jūn bù zhī)

木(): wood, or trees in this instance.

枝(zhī): branch.

悦(yuè): joy/delighted, or to like in this instance.

知(zhī): know.

This is a very literary way to confess one’s feelings. You can use this to show off your literary acumen, or even test the other person’s knowledge of the classics! It’s a phrase that literally means: There are trees on the mountain and the trees have branches. I like you in my heart, but you don’t know. It euphemistically expresses a deep and sincere love.

Finally “七夕节快乐(qīxī jié kuàilè) Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day!”
And “愿天下有情人终成眷属(yuàn tiānxià yǒuqíng rén zhōng chéng juànshǔ) May all lovers unite in marriage!”

Do you have any sweet words you’ve used to show your love? Share them with me!

There’s the pronunciation you can learn:

七夕节快乐 (qīxī jié kuàilè): Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day.

愿天下有情人终成眷属 (yuàn tiānxià yǒuqíng rén zhōng chéng juànshǔ): May all lovers unite in marriage.

You May Want to Learn More:
“In Chinese, looks can kill – and it’s a good thing!”
“Food, Virus, and “A Little Soldier””
“An “Interesting” Explanation of “有趣(yǒuqù)” and “有意思(yǒuyìsi)””

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