520, Chinese Netizens' Valentine's Day
Chinese people enjoy matching numbers and dates with phrases that have a similar pronunciation, and 520 follows that pattern. 520 is pronounced “Wǔ’èr líng,” and represents May 20th. Young netizens decided that this sounds a lot like “Wǒ ài nǐ,” the Chinese pronunciation of “I Love You,” and the internet slang quickly gained momentum.
Young lovers are even taking it a step further with “Wǔ èr yī,” which means 521 and represents May 21st. These numbers sound a lot like “I am willing,” which in Chinese is pronounced “Wǒ yuànyì.”
Much like western Valentine’s Day and Chinese Valentine’s Day (or Qixi Festival), sending flowers and gifts that are overpriced for the occasion are the norm. The similarity does not end there, as May 20th is also a very popular day to get engaged or married in China. In fact, marriage registry offices look a lot like western “Black Friday” lines on this day. – By Mandarin Maniac Ashley