Lucky and unlucky numbers in China - Chinese Customs - Chinese Culture Guide - China Circulation Travel Service

Lucky and unlucky numbers in China

Lucky and unlucky numbers in China

Lucky and unlucky numbers in China

The numbers is an important part of the time-honored Chinese culture and has a great influence in people’s daily life. The opening ceremony day of Beijing Olympic Games falls on 8:00 pm 8 August 2008, from which we can guess that 8 must be a lucky number in China. The lucky numbers and unlucky numbers mainly depend on their pronunciations.

The lucky numbers

Six, eight and nine are regarded to be lucky numbers. 6, in Chinese, means everything will be smooth. Many couples like to choose the day 6, 16,26 as their wedding day, in the hope of everything going smoothly. Since their homophones have auspicious meanings, eight and nine are regarded as lucky numbers. In Chinese, 8 sounds like”fa” which means you will be prosperous. Particularly, businessmen have special passions to this number, by choosing the day including 8 as their company’s opening day, preferring to spend much more extra money to buy the phone numbers and license tags ending with the number, especially ending with three these digits. Nine is a traditional lucky number, which is liked by all the Chinese, by sounding like” jiu” implies everlasting. In feudal society, the emperors paid special favorite to 9, in the hope that their reign could last forever. It is said that the magnificent Forbidden City, which has been the imperial palace during Ming and Qing dynasties, has 999 rooms, from which we can know about the emperors’ good wishes and special love to the number. Today, many Chinese like to choose their wedding day at the day including nine, in the hope that their marriage will last forever.

The unlucky number

Since its homophone has inauspicious meaning, the number 4 is considered to be unlucky number. 4, in Chinese sounds like” die”, is the unluckiest number, which is disliked by most of the Chinese people. Especially the phone numbers and license tags which included the number are not popular at all.

The special combination of numbers

Some numbers in itself neither luck nor unlucky, but when combining with other numbers they will have special meanings. The number one sounds like” yao”, meaning ” want”, are very popular when combining with 6 and 8. For example, 188, 166, 168, are very popular by respectively implying” to be certain to make a big fortune”, “to be certain to go on smoothly”, “must to be smooth and prosperous”. In contrast, if 1 make together with 4, “14” will be disgusted by many people, for it means” must die”. However, in Cantonese, the combination”1314” is regarded to be lucky number, for it sounds like” yi sheng yi shi” means everlasting. While the number 5 combine with 4 “54” will be regards a lucky number, by meaning” do not die”, for the homophone of 5 is”No”. Some combinations of numbers have very interesting meanings. “521” has the connotation of” I love you”. “7758521” means” kiss me and I love you”. While”250” is a joke to say some one is a fool.


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