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The Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in China

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Chinese numbers are very similar to each other. The number 0, 6, 8, and 9 have favorable and unfavorable meanings because they either sound similar to other words that have positive meanings or the pronunciation of the number.

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The most favorable numbers are 6, 8, and 9. Six, eight, and nine are the luckiest numbers in Chinese culture. Number 6 means smooth and well-off. In Chinese culture it means to them that everything will go smoothly. Number 8 means wealth and fortune in Chinese so Chinese people favor it very much because of course everybody wants to be wealthy. Number 9 means everlasting and eternally. It is associated with emperor of China. The emperor’s robes have 9 dragons on it. The Beijieng Forbidden City has a total of 9,999 and half rooms. The most unfavorable numbers are 4 and 7. Four and seven are the unluckiest numbers in Chinese culture. Four is considered as the most unlucky number in Chinese culture because the word “death” in Chinese sounds similar to four in Chinese. So, when you mention 4 in Chinese, Chinese people associate it with death in Chinese. It is disliked just like how in the United States, 13 is disliked by most of the population. But it also has a good meaning because it sounds similar to the Chinese word ‘’fortune”. Seven is another unfavorable word that means gone. It also has the same pronunciation as cheat in Chinese. So, in Chinese culture people usually try to avoid using the number.

Other numbers with different meanings in Chinese are 0,1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Zero means everything or nothing because it is limitless. Chinese people think everything begins with zero. One means the first because it is the most simple number but also the most complex in Chinese culture. It is neither auspicious nor inauspicious. It has the meaning of beginning, loneliness, and single. Two means double. In most cases, Chinese people consider it a lucky number because things in China mostly come in pairs but otherwise people use the number to describe someone as stupid or dumb. Three is a lucky number because it sounds similar to birth. Number 3 is used a lot in Chinese history, culture and a lot more. There are Three Halls of the Forbidden City in Beijeng and there are three gorges in the Yangtze River.Five is a neutral number in Chinese culture. It is lucky because it’s related to the emperor of China. There are five blessings in China, wealth, happiness, longevity, luck and prosperity. Also in Chinese astrology, there are five elements such as metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. The Tianamen Gate has five arches. In mandarin, it has the same pronunciation of the word that means nothing in Chinese so it basically means that it has a negative meaning in Chinese. It also is used to say “I” because of the similar pronunciation in Chinese. In Chinese culture, lucky numbers can bring good luck and fortune to their life. Chinese people usually choose favorable numbers when important dates come around like choosing a date for engagement, a date for a wedding and choosing a date to buy a house.

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In conclusion words are very important in Chinese culture because they have different meanings. Words have specific meanings and sometimes they are luck or unlucky. Such as the numbers four and seven are unlucky and Chinese people avoid those numbers often because they think it is bad luck to say those numbers. Just like in the United States the number thirteen is disliked by most people in America. The numbers six, eight, and nine are very lucky in Chinese culture because they all have specific meanings. For example, number six is lucky to them because it means “smooth” and they believe by saying that number it means to them that everything will go smoothly. Number eight is lucky because it means “rich” so when Chinese people say the number eight they believe it means being rich or wealthy. Number nine is lucky because it means everlasting so they think they are everlasting when they say that number. And these are the lucky and unlucky numbers in Chinese.

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