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Chinese Lucky Numbers

Although beliefs in lucky and unlucky numbers may be regarded as superstitious, Chinese people continue to hold onto these beliefs as an important part of their culture. Numbers play a significant role in accessing Chinese...

Although beliefs in lucky and unlucky numbers may be regarded as superstitious, Chinese people continue to hold onto these beliefs as an important part of their culture. Numbers play a significant role in accessing Chinese culture and understanding its intricacies. In this article, we will explore the luckiest and unluckiest numbers in Chinese culture.

8 - The Luckiest Number in China

In Chinese culture, the number 8 holds great significance as it is associated with prosperity. The pronunciation of the number closely resembles the phrase for "making money" in Chinese. This connection has led Chinese people to consider 8 as the luckiest number.

When it comes to important purchases like houses, license plates, or telephone numbers, Chinese people often prefer those that include the number 8. They believe that having the number 8 can bring them good fortune and prosperity.

License plates with the number 8 are highly sought after in China, and plates with multiple 8s can be incredibly expensive. In fact, in 2016, a license plate featuring five number 8s was sold for over 18 million Hong Kong dollars.

Chinese Lucky Number 9

The number 9 holds special significance in Chinese culture as it signifies long-lasting and auspicious elements. Chinese couples are delighted to receive wedding gifts that contain the number 9, such as a bouquet of 99 roses, symbolizing a long-lasting and happy life together.

In feng shui, 9 is considered the highest number on the scale and represents ultimate masculinity. It is often used to symbolize the supreme sovereignty of the emperor. As a result, the number 9 is commonly found in imperial house designs, such as the 9,999 rooms in the Forbidden City.

Chinese Lucky Number 6

The number 6, pronounced as "liu" in Mandarin Chinese, sounds similar to the word meaning "flowing, smooth, or frictionless." Due to this association, the number 6 is considered lucky, especially when occurring in multiples.

In feng shui, the number 6 represents authority and power. In fact, a license plate with the number 66666 can be worth millions in China. Moreover, young Chinese netizens widely use the term "666" to express admiration for people or things.

Chinese Lucky Number 2

Chinese people believe that all good things come in pairs, which is why the number 2 is considered lucky. It symbolizes pairs, and Chinese people hold the belief that good fortune accompanies things that come in pairs.

Traditionally, in Chinese weddings, the new couple's house and the restaurant would be adorned with double paper cuts, symbolizing double luck. Additionally, the number 2 is associated with a frank, innocent, and reckless personality, reflecting a positive attitude towards life.

Chinese Lucky Number Combinations: 168, 520, 666, 888

Chinese people often use combinations of lucky numbers to express their wishes or emotions. Here are a few popular examples:

  • 168: This number signifies "making a fortune all the way" and is particularly preferred during the Chinese New Year.
  • 520: The number 520 sounds similar to "I love you" in Chinese, making it a favorite among young people who send red envelopes containing cash with a quantity of 520 to their loved ones on Valentine's Day.
  • 666: This number represents good luck all the time and is also associated with being cool.
  • 888: Considered a powerful combination, 888 symbolizes making a fortune all the way. During Chinese New Year, it is often used as the cash quantity in red envelopes given by elders to younger generations, wishing them a smooth and successful life.

Chinese Unlucky Numbers: 4, 7

In Chinese culture, the numbers 4 and 7 are considered highly unlucky, and people tend to avoid using them in their lives.

  • Unlucky Number 4: The number 4 sounds similar to the word for "death" in China, as well as in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Because of this association, having the number 4 is considered extremely unlucky. It is common for door numbers and car registration numbers to avoid any 4s, especially in the last digit place.

  • Unlucky Number 7: The pronunciation of the number 7 in Chinese is similar to a word meaning "gone." Additionally, 7 is related to ceremonies that release dead souls from purgatory. In some parts of China, the 14th or 15th of the 7th month in the Chinese lunar calendar is the Ghost Festival, a date for holding sacrificial ceremonies.

Neutral Numbers: Safe Numbers

While some numbers are deemed lucky or unlucky, there are also numbers that fall into the neutral category.

  • Chinese Number 1: This number is associated with qualities such as unity, wholeness, independence, and infinity.
  • Chinese Number 3: In feng shui, the number 3 represents a natural resonance between beginning, middle, and end. It also signifies the stages of introduction, development, and conclusion. This number is widely used in Chinese culture, such as in the Three Gorges, the Three Kingdoms in Chinese history, and the three halls of the Forbidden City in Beijing.
  • Chinese Number 5: The number 5 is often used to classify various aspects in Chinese culture, such as the five elements in astrology, the senses, and the basic colors. It is considered a neutral number. In feng shui, the 5th level of life sometimes represents the best.

Chinese Numerology: Number Symbolism in Chinese Culture

Chinese numerology assigns specific meanings to various numbers:

  • 1: This number signifies singularity, unity, and wholeness.
  • 2: It represents duality and harmony.
  • 3: This number signifies multiplicity and stability.
  • 4: The number 4 is associated with death and is considered highly unlucky.
  • 5: It symbolizes individuality or the self.
  • 6: It represents smoothness and good luck.
  • 7: The number 7 is associated with holiness and mystery.
  • 8: This number signifies wealth and success.
  • 9: It represents longevity and eternality.

Understanding the significance of numbers in Chinese culture can deepen our appreciation for their rich traditions and beliefs.

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