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Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Culture

Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Culture

The study of Chinese culture is very interesting because they have so much superstitions and beliefs like numerology, using the laws of heaven and earth (astronomy and geography) -- "feng shui", choice of color etc. One of their main Chinese belief is that numbers contribute a lot to their good luck and their happiness in life. Their belief pertaining to a particular number and the luck it may bring affect their behavior and choices in life . Chinese beliefs and culture revolves around getting good vibes or good luck and the pursuit of happiness and long life. In this article, we are going to look at lucky and unlucky numbers in Chinese culture, and the certain meaning of a particular number.

Have you ever wondered why they chose and fought hard to be the host of the Olympic 2008? they started the opeing ceremont on August 8, 2008? It is because the number 8 is a lucky number for them and they believe it will bring good luck to their players if they start the Olympics on that date. Are you interested yet, come on now we will take a look at lucky and unlucky numbers in Chinese culture.

Chinese numbers and their symbols

Chinese numbers and their symbols

8 is a lucky number

8 is a lucky number

9 is a lucky number for couples as well

9 is a lucky number for couples as well

6 is consider a lucky number

6 is consider a lucky number

Car plate number with nine six and eight are the luckiest ones

Car plate number with nine six and eight are the luckiest ones

 9 is the luckiest number

9 is the luckiest number

First we are going to look at their definitions of numbers

  • Zero (0) -- simply means All or NOTHING as it is an absolute number
  • One (1) -- Individual. Aggressor -- "The Yang which is the other balance of Yin"
  • Two (2) -- Stability or Balance means Union or Receptive. "The Yin which is the other balance of Yang
  • Three (3) - means talking and understanding --Communication plus interaction plus Neutrality.
  • Four (4) -- Creation, Death
  • Five (5) -- Action or Restlessness.
  • Six (6) -- Fluidity, Responsibility, Reaction
  • seven (7) -- Mind, Consciousness and thoughts
  • Eight (8) -- Sacrifice, Work Hard and Power, Infinite -- no beginning no ending, continuous.
  • Nine (9) -- Highest level of change
  • Ten (10) -- Being born again or Rebirth

Concept of Numerology

  • Numerology is system of traditions, culture and belief's in mystic relationship between numerals and living things. Numerology is popular among the ancient mathematicians like Pythagoras. The relationship of numbers and living things is like relationship of astrology and astronomy, alchemy and chemistry.

General Rules on Numbers

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  • To consider if the number is lucky means to consider the pronunciation of the number and they sound pronunciation of another word and it should carry a positive connotation or vibes.
  • Even numbers are preferred but not the number four
  • Four is the most dreaded number - it means death
  • Eight is a lucky number and is always good for business
  • For odd numbers, seven implies anger and abandon, it is both an unlucky and lucky number
  • Nine means longevity and eternity. It is the luckiest number
  • Fourteen as well as 4 are the most feared number in Chinese superstition.
  • Thirteen is also an unlucky number to Chinese people so they don't usually have thirteenth floor or fourteenth floor in any buildings
  • They usually begin a new business on the 8th day. Number 8 is lucky for business as it brings unending money and good luck due to the shape of number -- infinite shape
  • Certain numbers are auspicisos meaning lucky and inauspicios meaning unlucky. This goes for single digits and or any combinations of numbers

Valentine's Day is nearing so when you give flowers to your loved one consider these:

  • One means you are my love
  • Two means we are together, we are best as pairs
  • Three means "I love you"

Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Culture

  • Odd Numbers generally mean the Yang energy -- celestial, space, heaven -- above earth and masculine
  • Even Numbers generally mean Yin energy and it means terrestrial, earthly , earth and is feminine

Lucky or Unlucky Chinese Numbers

  • Zero means the pre inception, nothingness, but cannot be identified, it is deprivation of the senses
  • One means loneliness, beginning, masculine. One has a thrusting energy that surges forth new growth and potential. One corresponds with the Chinese Zodiac symbol of the Rat. The energy of one rules over the Northern direction in Feng Shui practices.
  • Two is considered a good number in Chinese culture because pairs are always good for them. They always use double things to emphasize things as well, like double happiness, double coins etc.It also means a female. "Two corresponds with the Chinese zodiac symbol of the Ox plus it governs North plus Northeast directions in Feng Shui".
  • Three is also a lucky number for them as this is similar to the character of birth. The "Chinese Tiger" is the Chinese zodiac symbol for number three-- and East plusNortheast is the designated direction in Feng Shui-
  • Four is an unlucky number and it means death. That is why there is no 4th floor usually in Chinese buildings -- the Chinese zodiac symbol for number four is the Rabbit -- and east is its direction in Feng Shui --
  • Five -- this is a lucky number and is usually link to the five elements which are wood, earth eater fire earth and metal. This number is usually linked to the Emperor of China as well and the Tienanmen gate. "A great practice to familiarize ourselves with the Chinese number five is to adopt the founding five Chinese blessings like Wealth-- Happiness-- Longevity -- Luck and Prosperity. "The Chinese zodiac symbol for number five is the Chinese Dragon plus its corresponding direction in "Feng Shui" is East and Souththeast-
  • Six -- The number six usually means fluidity -- blessings and it is good for business, unlike in the Western world where we don’t like the number six, in Chinese culture it is a lucky number. "When we contemplate the meaning of number six in our lives we are contemplating the perennial mysteries of life contained in celestial power-- cosmic focus and the cyclical nature of time. "The Snake" -- is the Chinese zodiac symbol for number six plus South and Southeast is its direction in "Feng Shui" practices--
  • Seven -- This is an unlucky number in Chinese. I dont know why Tony Parker and his wife Eva Longoria married in France on July 7, 2007. It sio the month of ghost July. The number six, eight and nine are lucky dates as well. And the Chinese zodiac symbol for seven is the horse plus South is the "Feng Shui" coordinate--

  • Eight -- This is their favorite number aside from nine and simply means prosperity. It is interesting to note that words and the number are similar - number eight and fortune "Baat and faat".The value of eight is also linked with Buddhism -- the Lotus flower with eight petals. "The Sheep" is the Chinese zodiac symbol for this number and South--Southwest is the "Feng Shui" direction--
  • Nine-- is the biggest of single numbers and it connotes the "Emperor of China" -- his robes are with nine dragons on it. Nine is a lucky number for Chinese because it connotes longevity, happiness and good luck. Since the number nine is the highest number it means it is reaching the highest cosmic satisfaction and its Chinese zodiac symbol is Monkey and its "Feng Shui" direction is West/Southwest --

Some interesting facts about the number 8

  • The Olympics in Beijing kicked off in August 8, 2008 at 8 pm, 8 minutes and 8 seconds after 8 pm.
  • A Chinese man offered to sell his license plate number -- A88888 for USD164,000
  • A number of a telephone with all eight digits on it was sold for 270, 723 in Chengdu, China.
  • The number eight can also be linked to the lotus flower with eight petals
  • The Bank of Commerce in New York when they have grand opening raffled off safety deposit box number 888.
  • it was in 1994 when a Chinese businessman paid 1.7 million USD for a car license plate with -9- --- a number that was particularly lucky that year because the Chinese word for --nine-- sounds like the Chinese word for "dog," and 1994 was the year of that animal.
  • A Chinese man paid 215,000 USD for the lucky number for a cellphone "133-3333-3333".
  • Another phone number 8888-8888 has also been purchased in China..



Diane on August 12, 2017:

So if my home address is 117, does that mean it's bad luck home?

lea on November 13, 2015:

hi would like to ask my bf total name number is 3 and mine is 7, they said that if we marry together the total # will be 10 and it means death for my boyfriend.. is this true in numerology?



jac on May 02, 2015:

I am looking to purchase

The house number 22 is this ok

johnny western on July 06, 2013:

stick with number 9

Elizabeth Joy Delatado on June 04, 2013:

Hi Can you pls. Help me what is my lucky number and color. I was born march8,1981. I am planning to open business how to attract luck?


Tavy on June 04, 2013:

I was born on the 8th nice

Amanda on March 29, 2013:

I am contemplating moving from my apartment to an apartment complex numbered 3568 which translates to 22 or (4)

Ashley on November 08, 2012:

Hey how are you today this page is a really good site i love it :))!!!

Have a nice day ......

hermogina emotin on August 02, 2012:

hello i would like to know what is my lucky numbers

natalie on May 30, 2012:

I love these it very interesting to know what numbers to choose thank you so much to everyone that make it happen. I love reading about Feng Shui. It makes me think of the lovely things in life what I can do for myself and others to make me happy and my family and be lucky on these numbers. God Bless love Natalie.

tea on March 12, 2012:

Well i have to confess that i don't even know some of these informations about the numbers..:))) and actually you can just find out so many interesting culture for every country if you decide to dig out some there..and yes we like the number 6 and 8 and 9 ...and red paper for wedding and white paper for death...

Anyway for most of chinese people , especially for youngers, they don't care much about the for some people who pay so much for just a few numbers, well what can they do when have so much money but don't want to give it to poor?

Well anyway even for me as a chinese, i just feel so tired when i see these informations about the numbers, so actually we don't care much about them in real life!

But yes, for some special conditions , we think about it:))

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on March 03, 2012:

Dhuez why the number 4 it is unlucky number, well money is money so the waitress will like it

dhuez10 on March 02, 2012:

Next time I eat out Chinese I'm leaving the waitress $4 and 4 cents.

princesswithapen on January 12, 2012:

This has been one of the most interesting hubs I've read in a long time. I'm sharing this with a friend who is quite passionate about lucky numbers.


sheraz nazir joji on December 02, 2011:

my lucky number is 888

sheraz pakistan

MLRO082672 rat on November 19, 2011:

Hello! what is the meaning of my name this lucky? i want 2 a lucky charm 2 all year's i run... i always no.8 on my birthday... i need to have a good future... bcos i want to be a good samaritan... i want more... people to be happy...082672

genda espiritu on October 24, 2011:


marimccants on October 23, 2011:

Great hub about Chinese!Lots of wonderful information. As what I've read in the bible, number 7 is frequently mentioned and have the luck.I love number 7!

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on June 24, 2011:

Hi Jo, I also like the number seven. Take care and thanks for reading..

@Amy, this is cultural, and number 3 perhaps is lucky in your culture.

amy on June 23, 2011:

Funny i was told the # 3 meant death, believed it for many years. Glad I am corrected even though iv told people 3 is bad, my bad.

#1 father #2 son #3 holy ghost.

Jo_Goldsmith11 on June 23, 2011:

I enjoyed reading this hub. I know that the numbers 7 and 12 have been lucky for me. I have 7 cats and I met my husband on the 7th day of the 3rd month. We were married in the 12th month on the 12th day. So far so good! Take care..blessings! :-)

Richard83 from West Virginia on June 01, 2011:

This is a very interesting darkhorse. I enjoy the vast variety of your topics. You are such a great writer that has a lot to offer. Truly are. on March 24, 2011:

very informative. I love the finger pictures:)

Emma from Houston TX on March 10, 2011:

Nice hub,thanks.

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 16, 2011:

Thanks for commenting everyone and Ingenira, yes I think some don't believe in numerology anymore - Chinese christians, Take care...

Ingenira on February 16, 2011:

Another note, for Chinese who has been exposed to Christianity, they don't think 666 is a lucky number any more.

I came across a house with number 666 here in a town called Malacca. It was deserted with wild grass growing everywhere in the house. It's definitely not doing so well.

Ellarose92 on January 29, 2011:

This was a really good hub!! My fav number is 9!

SapphireGreen on January 27, 2011:

love this i have always been a fan of the culture ever since i was little

Tony Mead from Yorkshire on January 25, 2011:

Very interesting hub, I wish I could write them as good, and get the amount of replies you get.

I'm very jealous, green you might say.

good luck, Tony

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on January 21, 2011:

you can wear something red to counteract the number. Happy New year too!

Rina on January 21, 2011:

What about if the number is assigned to you? Like in my case, I just moved to a new job and I was assigned this employee number,E17754. As I can't change this number which I'll always use as long as I'm with this company, what can do to offset the seemingly bad luck associated w/ these numbers esp the number 4. Thanks and happy Chinese New Year on Feb3

Jamie Brock from Texas on January 07, 2011:

Great hub.... I had no idea the Chinese were so much into numerology. Thank you for sharing!

kidsinvite on January 03, 2011:

Now I know this are the hand signs, thank you!

suhail sharif on December 20, 2010:

786 is a lucky number in the Muslim point of view.

paparazzi on December 09, 2010:

can you explain me the number 274 coz when you add them all it's this means unlucky/death?

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on November 08, 2010:

adorably kenu and laptirela, I appreciate all your responses. Thanks a lot,

Leptirela from I don't know half the time on November 07, 2010:

I like this hub. Especially now I know something new about numbers,

but....the bad thing is,... am going to be watching put for every number that comes my way heh.................... damn.

thank you :)))

kenu12maller from United States on October 07, 2010:

Nice hub on china i am a language expert and like to read such hubs again thank you very much and keep writing such things.

adorababy from Syracuse, NY on June 30, 2010:

We can't really rely our luck on numbers and horoscopes but it wouldn't hurt us if our lucky stars are aligned and working harmoniously for us.

adorababy from Syracuse, NY on June 30, 2010:

We can't really rely our luck on numbers and horoscopes but it wouldn't hurt us if our lucky stars are aligned and working harmoniously for us.

Trevor Kersey on June 30, 2010:

I never knew numbers mean`t so much.

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 29, 2010:

thanks for the appreciation rismayanti and the fix, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 29, 2010:

Hi Tatto, I think that the number 22 is a lucky number, because it a balance, usually Chinese like the idea of balance, like the balance of nature, yin and yang, so it is a lucky number, Maita

Rismayanti from Tropical Island on April 29, 2010:

new information.. thanks

the fix on April 29, 2010:

Love the article! Such an interesting topic!

TattoGuy on April 29, 2010:

Love this hub and have bookmarked it, for some reason double digits like 22, 11 etc play a big part in my life, any ideas on that ?

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 28, 2010:

thank you compu smart, maita

Tony Sky from London UK on April 28, 2010:

10 out of 10!! Good stuff!!

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 28, 2010:

thank you lovely, maita

Renee S from Virginia on April 28, 2010:

This is so fascinating.

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 27, 2010:

Thanks Ingenira

Ingenira on April 27, 2010:

well said. :)

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 26, 2010:

thanks Billy, Maita

billysgomez on April 26, 2010:

Wow I really enjoyed reading this one, it's a great share, thanks.

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on April 26, 2010:

What an interesting hub! Pat lives in an 'ordinary' English street - there is no house number 13, as it might be difficult to sell a house with that number.

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 26, 2010:

Lois thank you

lois sunday on April 26, 2010:

wow! you write so well and this is very interesting!

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 17, 2010:

thank you Shari, Maita

Shari from New York, NY on April 16, 2010:

loved this Hub Maita. . numbers always amaze me. . thanks for sharing!

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on April 10, 2010:

yes celine, I speak tagalog, thank you, kumusta -- How are you?, Maita

celinewayne on April 09, 2010:

hi, i love this hub

thanks for sharing

do you speak tagalog?

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 24, 2010:

Hi Lita, Salamat and kumusta, you take care always! Maita

Lita C. Malicdem on February 24, 2010:

I'm number 4 among 9 siblings, but recently, my Kuya who is number 3 died of heart attack. Anyways, I like this hub and it will always remind me to be careful. Thanks, Kabayan. Mabuhay ka!

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 20, 2010:

hi genrp, I am glad you read this one, thanks, Maita

Genie Rose Palabay-De Guzman from North Hollywood, CA, USA on February 19, 2010:

interesting hub! very informative.. thanks for sharing..

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 17, 2010:

thank you ateenyi and you have a good grasp of everything, Maita

ateenyi from Chicago on February 17, 2010:

Good Hub!!!!!

The numerology and feng sui are the main area of focus into the hub. The present scientific society may consider it superstitions, but these numbers are very much deeply rooted in scientific culture. The number eight is luckiest because it is close to infinity. The whole hub provides tremendous joy and information. Thanks for sharing such nice information.

Beth100 from Canada on February 16, 2010:

Great hub Maita! Superstitions and beliefs abound in all cultures, and numerology is one of the most common in many cultures. Egyptions, Mayans and Aztecs followed numerology. Perhaps there is some truth? Lovely summary of the numbers and their meanings! Thank you Maita!

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 16, 2010:

Hi treasure, I am glad you like this one, and you find something interesting in it as well, Take care, Maita

treasuresyw from Savannah, GA on February 16, 2010:

I am really loving this hub. It is very informative and it just fed some of what I was already trying to understand more of. Peace and thanks for sharing.

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 15, 2010:

Hi Tammy, Thanks for reading this one, it so your own choice though, these are just suggestions, How are you> Maita

Tammy Lochmann on February 15, 2010:

Very interesting you are a goldmine of information. I have always used the number 4 as my lucky number it has served me well, but I see that it's an unlucky number...Oh well I have been lucky so I must have a luck somewhere else. LOL Great Hub!

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 14, 2010:

Oh Dohn, number 4 LOL< underworld bad hehe, thanks for the information, and when you get married choose the number 9 hehe, Happy V Day Dohn, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 14, 2010:

J. S Matthew thank you for dropping by, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 14, 2010:

Hey Elena, Kung Hei Fat Choi and Happy Valentine as well, Thank you, 13 is unlucky LOL< Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 14, 2010:

Hi Jonathan Douglas, thnaks for your nice comment, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 14, 2010:

Hey Micky, hehe, are you serious, just kidding, Night, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 14, 2010:

Hi Amber allen, thank you for visiting this hub, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 14, 2010:

Hi mtsi, two is a lucky number, Great and 8 is lucky again, Thanks mtsi, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 14, 2010:

Hi David Russell, Thank you so much for your kind response and comments, I appreciate it very much, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 14, 2010:

Hi Tantrum, Thank you for reading this one, hmm number 8 is very lucky, that's why you are lucky in love LOl, Maita

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on February 14, 2010:

Wow Maita. This was a fun and fascinating hub to read. I am familiar with much of Chinese numerology as I studied Asian literature in college. One of my professors were also Korean-American. The number four is very unlucky in most Asian cultures, not just Chinese, such as Korean.

Did you know that Hades' symbol (the god of the Greek Underworld) is also the number 4?

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on February 14, 2010:

Great Hub! Very Interesting!

Elena from London, UK on February 14, 2010:

I love this Hub and have bookmarked it. Very interesting. I'd love to experiment on these numbers - except for 13. lol.

Today is the 14th Feb. Kung Hei Fat Choi, Pretty. Hope the New year brings Happiness to you and keeps that lovely smile on your face.

Best Wishes, Elena.

anglnwu on February 13, 2010:

Thanks for the interesting hub. Numbers definitely play a huge part in the Chinese way of life. Even wedding days are fixed based on lucky month and lucky days. 7 is generally considered a symbol of bad luck and is the month of the ghost festival. Of course, no sane Chinese person will consider any day in the 7th month for a wedding date.

Thanks for the interesting read again.

Jonathan Douglas from Canada's Capital Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on February 13, 2010:

Wonderful hub

Keep writing

I really enjoy your work

Micky Dee on February 13, 2010:

I've got to get my telephone # changed. Thanks Maita.

Amber Allen on February 13, 2010:

A very interesting hub which gives us insight into the Chinese culture. Thanks.


mtsi1098 on February 13, 2010:

well favorite number is 2 (stability and balance) while my company was created in a year ending in 8 - Happy New Year Maita...thanks

Madison from NYC on February 13, 2010:

WOW! Pdh, this is an impressive hub. Very nice writing.

Thank you!!

David Russell on February 13, 2010:

Where in the world do you get the time to dig into so many pies, day after day?

There seems no bounds to your interests and the different tangents of your interests take you. prettydark horse, share your secret. Give us Hubbers the ability to burst forth with the energy to live in your multi-purpose world! Is it a pill, a spell, a magic formula. Share. Share. We all want your magic potion. David Russell

tantrum from Tropic of Capricorn on February 13, 2010:

Hey Pretty !what an interesting hub! I loved it ! My favourite number is 8. And it is my number in numerology. Cheers ! :)

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 13, 2010:

Hey alexandria QT, thank you,

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 13, 2010:

Hi Bk, I think we connect in some sort of way that's why you know me already, i am easily understood and transparent Thanks BK, I am into numbers as well, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 13, 2010:

Hi hypno, thanks for tht nice compliments, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 13, 2010:

Hi Rev, I understand, thanks for reading this one, Bless, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 13, 2010:

Hi Mystique yeah I agree with you, it is up to you which number is good or not good, I dont like 4 because of its shape, i like 6 it is sexy for me, maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 13, 2010:

hey hello, dont use the number 4 now LOL, Maita

prettydarkhorse (author) from US on February 13, 2010:

Hi cool, thanks, Maita

Coolmon2009 from Texas, USA on February 13, 2010:

Another great hub; you always have interesting topics.

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