Unlocking the 五二零 (wǔ èr líng) 520 code

五二零 (wǔ èr líng) 520

It is said that China has the most holidays-that-aren’t-really-holidays, also known as “festivals for the fun of making up new festivals.”

If you didn’t know already (and we’ll touch up on it more in a later lesson,) Chinese people really love plays on words. We really love them. We also love attributing meaning to everyday numbers.

五二零 (wǔ èr líng) 520

In Chinese, dates are read in a more logical format than is common in the West, with the most significant digit first (the year or the month,) heading towards the least significant digit (the day.) So for the 20th of May 2016, in Chinese it is 2016年5月20号 (èr líng yī liù nián, wǔ yuè, èr shí hào) or just 5月20号 (wǔ yuè, èr shí hào) if the year is already known and so omitted. And that’s where the 520 comes in.

The 5 (五) is pronounced wǔ, which sounds like wǒ, which is the pronunciation of 我, meaning “I” or “me.”

The 2 (二) is pronounced èr, which sounds like ài, which is the pronunciation of 爱, meaning “love.”

The last number, 0 (零,) is pronounced líng, which sounds like nǐ, which is the pronunciation of 你, meaning, you guessed it, “you.”

我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ) I love you

So the 20th of May is another day to express your love for your significant other, or confess to your hopefully soon-to-be significant other!

What are you waiting for, go spend time with your significant other, show them you love them today ^_^

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