It’s springtime in China. The trees and grass are turning from brown to emerald; hibernating animals are waking up in order to enjoy the sunshine; and flowers are blossoming all around.
All these things help to wash away the winter depression and encourage people to consider an outdoor picnic.
It’s the weekend. Linda and her friend 王伟 (Wáng Wěi) are going on a picnic.
On their way, they stop to admire the 桃花 (táohuā, peach blossoms).
Let’s take a look at their conversation about the flowers.
Wang Wei：Kàn! Táohuā kāi le.
Look! The peach blossoms are in full bloom.
They really are beautiful.
Wang Wei：Wǒ xīwàng wǒ jīnnián zǒu táohuāyùn.
I hope I’ll be lucky with love.
Linda：Hēhe, búyào shì làn táohuā a.
Haha. You should wish that you don’t get bad luck.
Why does 王伟 (Wángwěi) use “桃花运 (táohuāyùn)” to say “lucky with love?”
To understand, you must read the following story.
It’s said that in ancient China there was a poet and scholar named 崔护 (Cuī Hù). One spring, as he had been studying very hard, 崔护 (Cuī Hù) looked up and saw that the view outside his window was breathtaking.
Inspired by the sight, 崔护 (Cuī Hù) decided to give his books a rest and go outside.
After a long walk, he became very tired and thirsty, so he looked for a place to rest and have a drink of water. Upon noticing a house with 桃花 (táohuā, peach blossoms), 崔护 (Cuī Hù) knocked on the door and was greeted by a beautiful girl.
As he quenched his thirst, the two didn’t talk much, but the attraction between them was obvious. Without mentioning his feelings, 崔护 (Cuī Hù) left the house and returned home.
The next spring, the familiar sight of peach blossoms reminded 崔护 (Cuī Hù) of the beautiful girl and he decided to search for her. He went back to the same house, but the girl wasn’t home. He wrote a poem on the door, which still remains famous today.
Days later, he continued his search and once again returned to the girl’s house. On this trip, 崔护 (Cuī Hù) discovered that the girl was home, but had been refusing to eat and was slowly dying.
The girl wasn’t ill, but because of the poem left on the door, she thought she had missed her chance at seeing 崔护 (Cuī Hù) and was not eating due to her sorrow. Once she saw 崔护 (Cuī Hù), she quickly recovered.
The two married and led a very happy life together. The story spread, and because of the 桃花 (táohuā, peach blossoms) in the love story, people began to call this kind of love affair “走桃花运(zǒu táohuāyùn)” or “交桃花运(jiāo táohuāyùn).”
In the phrase “桃花运 (táohuāyùn),” 运 (yùn) is a noun meaning “luck,” and 桃花运 (táohuāyùn) means “lucky with love.”
If a man comes across a woman he likes, he might say “我交桃花运了。(Wǒ jiāo táohuāyùn le. I am lucky with love.).” Or “我走桃花运了。(Wǒ zǒu táohuāyùn le. I am lucky with love.)”
How do you say your feelings in Chinese if you are lucky with love? In that case, you can use the adjective “旺 (wàng),” meaning “flourishing” or “prosperous.”
Jīnnián, wǒ de táohuāyùn hěn wàng.
My luck in love is flourishing this year.
Usually, 桃花运 (táohuāyùn) refers to being lucky with love, but we all know people can fall upon some bad luck as well.
For example, what if you fall in love with someone who doesn’t share your feelings but instead leads you on?
This can be very agonizing. We then use 烂 (làn) meaning “bad” to modify 桃花运 (táohuāyùn). Generally, the character “运 (yùn)” is omitted.
For example, “我最近交了烂桃花 (Wǒ zuìjìn jiāo le làn táohuā, I have been unlucky with love recently.)”
Wǒ qùnián yǒu sìduàn gǎnqíng.
I had four love affairs last year.
Nǐ de táohuāyùn hěn wàng a!
Sounds like a great love life!
Dànshì quán shì làn táohuā.
But they were all unlucky affairs.
There is another kind love affair, one that is a disaster and makes your life chaotic. This kind of love is called “桃花劫 (táohuājié, disastrous love affair).”
Have you had any “桃花运 (táohuāyùn)” in your life? Come on and use the above expressions with 桃花 (táohuā) to describe your own love experiences.
1. What does the ancient Chinese expression “桃花 (táohuā)” mean? ___
C. charming female
2. What’s the meaning of “我的桃花运很旺！(Wǒ de táohuāyùn hěn wàng!)?”_____
A. My luck with love is flourishing.
B. The peach blossoms have come into full bloom.
C. I love peach blossoms.