Candlelight dinner, carriage ride on the snow with a beautiful moon, rose petals resting over the floor to surprise your beloved ones when they come back home from a busy day at work, Valentine’s Day is a special day for you to say, “I love you!”.
Well, what does “Valentine’s Day” mean for a traditional Chinese woman like me? It is all about the heart. How so? Some of you might have heard that Chinese language is pictograph. It means that according to the shape of some natural existence, a Chinese character was created to demonstrate the original meaning and purpose of that natural existence. For example, “Valentine’s Day” is translated into “情人节” in the form of Chinese characters. Let’s decode these three Chinese characters.
情 - This character comprises two parts, and each part is called a “radical”. A radical could be originally from another independent Chinese character, or it could be simply a related but dependent indication of some meaning. In this specific character “情”, the left radical is a dependent indication which cannot stand alone as a real functional character, but the right radical comes from a real character “青”. No matter whether the radical is dependent or not, they shadow the truth of that original existence. Let’s move forward to the individual meaning of each radical. So the left radical comes from this character, “心”, which means “heart”; the right radical means “blue, green, or anything that is melodious, such as fresh grass and blue sky”. So Chinese people define “情” as “love, emotions, feelings and relationships”, and it has something to do with the “heart”.
人 - This character means “person”.
节 - This character means “holiday, season and day”.
So if we use Free Translation Technique, Valentine’s Day is translated as “the day for my beloved one” in the Chinese language. And remember the fact that this is all about the heart.
If you are one of Beihu users or have been receiving our newsletters, you would not be surprised to know the legendary story of the Chinese Valentine’s Day. It is on July 7th in the lunar calendar. This is my favorite CCTV program advocating the Chinese Valentine’s Day, but unfortunately there is only Chinese subtitle for this video. I wish all of you a meaningful Valentine’s Day!