Unlucky Numbers in China: Superstitions and Beliefs

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Originally posted on May 10, 2023 @ 5:27 pm

In Chinese culture, certain numbers are believed to bring bad luck or misfortune. These numbers are commonly referred to as unlucky or inauspicious numbers. It is important to understand their significance, as they are often avoided in daily life and special occasions. In this article, we will explore the concept of unlucky numbers in China and the reasons behind their beliefs.

The Historical Significance of Numbers in China

In Chinese culture, numbers hold a significant place. Numbers were used to convey meanings, especially in ancient times when writing was not prevalent. Each number had a unique meaning and was associated with specific beliefs and superstitions.

The Significance of Unlucky Numbers

While numbers such as 8 and 9 are considered lucky in Chinese culture, some numbers are believed to bring bad luck. These numbers are avoided when it comes to choosing phone numbers, addresses, and other personal details.

One key takeaway from this text is that numbers hold great significance in Chinese culture, with each number being associated with unique meanings, beliefs and superstitions. While certain numbers are considered lucky, such as 8 and 9, others including 4, 6, and 13 are believed to bring misfortune and bad luck. This is why many Chinese people avoid these numbers when choosing phone numbers, addresses, and even wedding dates. The fact that the number 4 is considered the most unlucky number in China, due to its similar pronunciation with the word for death, is a testament to how deeply ingrained superstitions are in Chinese culture.

The Number 4

The number 4 is considered the most unlucky number in Chinese culture. This belief is due to the pronunciation of the word ‘four’ being similar to the word ‘death’ in Chinese. Many buildings in China avoid using the number 4 in their floor plans, and elevators often skip the 4th floor.

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The Number 13

The number 13 is considered unlucky in many cultures worldwide, and China is no exception. The number 13 is associated with misfortune and bad luck, and many people avoid using it in their personal lives.

The Number 6

While the number 6 may seem harmless, it is considered unlucky in Chinese culture. The number 6 is associated with negative connotations, such as smoothness and danger.

The Number 9

While the number 9 is considered lucky in most cases, it can be unlucky in some situations. The number 9 is associated with long-lasting relationships, which can be unlucky if the relationship is unhealthy or abusive.

Superstitions and Beliefs Related to Unlucky Numbers

Choosing a Phone Number

When choosing a phone number in China, people often try to avoid the numbers 4 and 7. The number 4 is considered unlucky, while the number 7 is associated with death.

Choosing an Address

When choosing an address, people in China often avoid addresses that contain the number 4. The number 4 is believed to bring bad luck, and many buildings skip the 4th floor entirely.

Choosing a Wedding Date

When choosing a wedding date, couples in China often avoid the number 4. The number 4 is associated with death and is believed to bring bad luck.

Choosing a Car License Plate Number

When choosing a car license plate number in China, people often avoid the number 4. The number 4 is believed to bring bad luck and is associated with death.

FAQs: What are unlucky numbers in China?

What are some of the unlucky numbers in Chinese culture?

In Chinese culture, the numbers 4 and 13 are considered unlucky. This superstition is due to the fact that the pronunciation of the number 4 sounds similar to the word for death, while the number 13 is considered unlucky because it is comprised of the number 10 and the number 3, which is associated with conflict.

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Why is the number 4 considered unlucky in Chinese culture?

The number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese culture because its pronunciation is similar to the word for death. The Chinese language is full of homophones, meaning that different words can have the same sound but different meanings. In the case of the number 4, its pronunciation is similar to the word for death, which has caused it to be associated with bad luck and avoided whenever possible.

What is the significance of the number 13 in Chinese culture?

The number 13 is considered unlucky in Chinese culture because it is comprised of the number 10 and the number 3. The number 10 is considered lucky because it sounds similar to the word for “perfection” in Chinese culture. However, the number 3 is associated with conflict, as it is believed to represent the three realms of heaven, earth, and humanity in Chinese mythology. When combined, the number 13 is believed to bring bad luck and should be avoided whenever possible.

Are there any other numbers that are considered unlucky in Chinese culture?

While the numbers 4 and 13 are the most commonly considered unlucky in Chinese culture, there are other numbers that are also believed to bring bad luck. For example, the number 9 is considered unlucky due to its association with the emperor, and the number 7 is believed to be unlucky because it is associated with a ghostly figure in Chinese mythology. Additionally, the number 6 is considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for “loss” in Chinese culture. However, these numbers are not as widely avoided as the numbers 4 and 13.

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