In Hong Kong, just like in many other cultures, certain numbers are considered unlucky. These numbers are believed to bring bad luck and are avoided in many aspects of life, including phone numbers, addresses, and even license plates. In this article, we will explore the superstitions surrounding unlucky numbers in Hong Kong and the reasons why they are avoided.
Understanding the Superstitions of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, like many other cultures, has a deep-seated belief in superstitions, especially when it comes to numbers. In Chinese culture, certain numbers are considered lucky, while others are deemed unlucky. The number “8” is considered extremely lucky because it sounds like the word for “prosperity” in Mandarin, while the number “4” is deemed unlucky because it sounds like the word for “death.”
The Unlucky Numbers in Hong Kong
Aside from the number “4,” there are several other numbers that are considered unlucky in Hong Kong. These numbers are “13,” “14,” and “24.” The number “13” is considered unlucky because it is associated with bad luck in Western cultures. The number “14” is deemed unlucky because it sounds like the phrase “will certainly die” in Cantonese. Similarly, the number “24” is considered unlucky because it sounds like the phrase “easy to die” in Cantonese.
The Superstitions’ Effect on Everyday Life
These superstitions have a significant impact on everyday life in Hong Kong. For example, many buildings in Hong Kong do not have a 13th floor, as it is believed to bring bad luck. Similarly, many hospitals and hotels do not have a room number with the number “4” in it. Additionally, many people in Hong Kong will not make important decisions, such as getting married or starting a business, on a day that has an unlucky number in it.
The Origins of Superstitions
While some of these superstitions may seem irrational, they have deep roots in Chinese culture and history. The number “4” is associated with death because it sounds similar to the word for death in Chinese. Similarly, the number “13” is considered unlucky in Western cultures because of its association with the Last Supper and the number of guests at the table. In Chinese culture, the number “13” is considered unlucky because it is a combination of two unlucky numbers, “1” and “3.”
The Role of Feng Shui
Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of arranging objects and spaces to achieve balance and harmony, also plays a role in these superstitions. Feng Shui practitioners believe that certain numbers have specific energy vibrations, which can either enhance or detract from the energy of a space. For example, the number “8” is considered lucky because it is associated with prosperity and abundance.
FAQs for the topic: Unlucky Numbers in Hong Kong
What are the unlucky numbers in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong, the number 4 is considered unlucky as it sounds similar to the word for “death” in Cantonese. Similarly, the number 13 is also considered unlucky as it is associated with bad luck in Western cultures. It is also believed that the number 14, which sounds similar to “certain death” in Cantonese, is unlucky as well.
How do people avoid using unlucky numbers in Hong Kong?
Avoiding unlucky numbers in Hong Kong is quite common. For example, some people avoid using apartment or office numbers that contain the number 4, 13, or 14. Some buildings even skip these numbers in their floor numbering system. Additionally, people avoid giving gifts in sets of four or thirteen, and some hotels do not have the 13th floor or a room number that ends in 4.
Can using unlucky numbers bring bad luck in Hong Kong?
Some people in Hong Kong genuinely believe that using unlucky numbers can bring bad luck. They may avoid using these numbers for important events such as weddings and business transactions. However, this belief is not universal, and many people may use these numbers without any worries or consequences.
How do superstitions about unlucky numbers affect businesses in Hong Kong?
Superstitions around unlucky numbers in Hong Kong can have a significant impact on businesses. Companies may avoid using these numbers in phone numbers, website domains, and branding materials, as it could negatively impact perceived luck and success. For example, airlines would never use flight numbers such as CX4 or CX44, while a real estate agent might avoid listing a property with an unlucky number.
Is the fear of unlucky numbers unique to Hong Kong?
The fear of unlucky numbers is not unique to Hong Kong. Many cultures have their own superstitions around numbers. For example, in Western cultures, the number 13 is considered unlucky, while in Japan, the number 4 is also associated with death. However, the intensity of these superstitions can vary among different cultures.