In Chinese culture, certain numbers are considered lucky or unlucky due to their pronunciation and symbolism. These beliefs have been deeply ingrained in daily life and business practices, from selecting phone numbers to setting wedding dates. Understanding the significance of lucky and unlucky numbers in Chinese culture is crucial for building relationships and conducting successful businesses with Chinese counterparts.
The History and Beliefs Surrounding Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Culture
Chinese culture is steeped in superstitions, and one of the most significant is the belief in lucky and unlucky numbers. The Chinese people have been using numbers to signify their beliefs and values for thousands of years. The history of lucky and unlucky numbers in Chinese culture goes back to ancient times when they were used for divination and fortune-telling. The ancient Chinese believed that the universe was made up of five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each element was associated with a number, and these numbers were believed to have specific meanings and properties.
The Significance of Odd and Even Numbers in Chinese Culture
In Chinese culture, odd numbers are considered lucky, while even numbers are seen as unlucky. The reason for this belief is that odd numbers are believed to represent Yin, while even numbers represent Yang. Yin represents female energy, while Yang represents male energy. Odd numbers are also believed to be lucky because they cannot be divided equally, which is seen as a sign of unity and harmony. Even numbers, on the other hand, are associated with disharmony and division.
The Meanings of Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Culture
The Chinese people associate specific meanings with each number, and these meanings can be either lucky or unlucky. For example, the number 8 is considered lucky because it sounds like the word for prosperity in Chinese. The number 4, on the other hand, is considered unlucky because it sounds like the word for death. Similarly, the number 9 is considered lucky because it sounds like the word for longevity, while the number 6 is considered lucky because it sounds like the word for smooth progress.
The Role of Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Daily Life
lucky and unlucky numbers play a significant role in the daily life of Chinese people. They are used in various situations, such as choosing phone numbers, license plates, and addresses. The Chinese people believe that by using lucky numbers, they can attract positive energy and good luck into their lives. On the other hand, using unlucky numbers can bring bad luck and negative energy into their lives.
Lucky Numbers in Business
In business, lucky numbers are essential, and many Chinese businessmen use them to enhance their chances of success. For example, when choosing a phone number or a business name, they will often choose numbers that are considered lucky. The number 8, for instance, is considered lucky in business because it is associated with prosperity and financial success.
Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Culture
Unlucky numbers are also essential in Chinese culture, and many people avoid them at all costs. The number 4, for example, is considered unlucky because it sounds like the word for death. Many Chinese people will go to great lengths to avoid the number 4, such as skipping the fourth floor in a building or avoiding phone numbers that contain the number 4.
The Influence of Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Festivals and Celebrations
lucky and unlucky numbers play a significant role in Chinese festivals and celebrations. The Chinese New Year, for instance, is a time when many people choose to wear red clothing and decorate their homes with red lanterns. The color red is considered lucky in Chinese culture, and it is believed to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.
Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Weddings
In Chinese weddings, lucky and unlucky numbers are also essential. The number 8 is considered lucky because it represents prosperity and wealth, and many couples will choose to get married on a date that contains the number 8. The number 4, on the other hand, is considered unlucky and is avoided at all costs.
Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Funerals
In Chinese funerals, the number 4 is considered unlucky and is avoided at all costs. The number 6, on the other hand, is considered lucky because it sounds like the word for smooth progress. Many Chinese people believe that by using lucky numbers in a funeral, they can ensure that the deceased will have a smooth journey into the afterlife.
FAQs for Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Chinese
What are lucky numbers in Chinese culture?
In Chinese culture, the number 8 is considered the luckiest number because in Mandarin, the pronunciation of 8 sounds like “fa,” which means wealth, prosperity, and success. The number 9 is also considered lucky because in Mandarin, the pronunciation of 9 sounds like “jiu,” which means long-lasting and eternal. The number 6 is also considered lucky because it sounds like the word for “smooth” and “well-off.” Additionally, the number 888 is believed to bring triple fortune and the number 168 is associated with prosperity and good luck.
What are unlucky numbers in Chinese culture?
The number 4 is considered the most unlucky number because in Chinese, the pronunciation of 4 sounds like the word for “death” or “die.” As a result, many Chinese people avoid phone numbers, addresses or even floors in buildings that contain the number 4. The number 13 is also considered unlucky in Chinese culture because it sounds like the word for “must die” in Cantonese. Similarly, the number 14, which comes from 4 and 10, is also considered unlucky. In addition, numbers that have negative connotations or homophonic meanings, such as 24, 74, and 84, are also considered unlucky.
How do Chinese people use lucky numbers in their daily life?
Chinese people use lucky numbers in many ways, such as telephone numbers, special dates for weddings, and choosing addresses for houses and buildings. For instance, business owners often choose phone numbers that contain lots of 8s, such as 8888-8888. In addition, people often choose to get married on auspicious dates, such as the 8th, 18th or 28th of the month, and may also choose their wedding banquet menu according to lucky numbers.
How do Chinese people avoid unlucky numbers?
To avoid unlucky numbers, Chinese people often choose to use numbers that are considered to be lucky, such as 8, 9, and 6, instead of unlucky numbers. For example, some buildings in China do not have a fourth floor, and some hospitals do not assign a bed with the number 4 to patients. Additionally, some hotels may not have room numbers containing 4 or 14. Some people also carry lucky charms to ward off bad luck, and some may perform certain rituals to avoid bad luck or to bring good luck.