Nov. 22 came around to being recognized as いい夫婦の日 (ii fūfu no hi, Good Couples Day) in Japan simply because of pronunciation. An old way of counting the number one as “hi” and the number two as “fu” made the date, 1122, sound kind of like “いい夫婦” (ii fūfu, good couple), and thus a special occasion was born.

Many couples will submit their 婚姻届 (konin-todoke, marriage registration) on Nov. 22, hoping it will deliver a long-lasting and healthy relationship.

Happy couples are often referred to as おしどり夫婦 (oshidori fūfu, happily married couples). And if you look up the kanji for おしどり, you may be surprised to see 鴛鴦, the seldom-used characters for “mandarin duck.” What’s interesting about this is that おしどり actually change their partners.