6+ Best Cantonese Superstitions You Should Know

Cantonese Superstitions

Step into the intriguing world of Cantonese superstitions, where ancient beliefs and modern life blend in a fascinating tapestry of customs and practices. From the auspicious symbolism of the number 8 to the cautionary tales of taboo numbers like 4, Cantonese superstitions are deeply woven into the fabric of daily life. In this post, we’ll explore all the Cantonese superstitions that every traveler should know before visiting the country. Excited to learn more? Wear your hats, except for the green hat, and read below!

Superstitions In Cantonese

Cantonese superstitions or “迷信” (mei4 seun3) weave a fascinating tapestry within the region’s culture. These beliefs are not mere quirks but are deeply woven into the daily lives of Cantonese communities, shaping their customs and traditions. According to the locals, superstitions are very much rooted in a quest for harmony and balance of energies or feng shui.

Another important aspect is numerology, a prominent element where numbers are believed to influence crucial life decisions, from weddings to business ventures. For instance, the Cantonese believe that numbers 4 and 9 are lucky, while 3 and 8 are unlucky. They also believe that placing certain numbers of objects in a certain order can attract good fortune or bad luck. However, this is not always the case, as some Cantonese people disregard these superstitions altogether.

Common Cantonese Superstitions

Step into the enchanting world of Cantonese superstitions, where ancient beliefs shape daily life, and intriguing rituals span generations. Join us for a captivating journey into this rich tapestry of cultural wisdom that continues to enchant millions. Superstition and centuries-old traditions await your exploration!

The curse of number '4'

Number 4 – 四 (Sei)

The Cantonese term for “death” has the same sound as the number 4, which is why it is seen as an unlucky number in East Asian cultures. The number 4 is frequently omitted from phone numbers, car plates, and addresses.

Number 8 – 八 (Baat)

On the other hand, the Cantonese term for “wealth” or “prosperity” sounds a lot like the number 8, which is seen to be very lucky. Phone numbers and license plates with the number 8 are frequently purchased at a premium.

Woman with Chinese red envelope

Red Envelopes 利是 (Lai see)

Giving red envelopes with money inside is traditional on important occasions like Chinese New Year or weddings as a sign of luck and wealth. Children and single people are typically the recipients of these envelopes.

Taboos During Ghost Month

It is thought that the dead spirits roam the earth during the seventh lunar month, which is known as Ghost Month. In order to prevent bad luck, many Cantonese people steer clear of making significant life decisions, getting married, or moving during this month.

Feng Shui Solitude

Feng Shui

Feng Shui, the art of organizing one’s environment to balance with natural elements and energy flows, is highly valued in Cantonese culture. It is said that good Feng Shui can bring luck and wealth, while bad arrangements can bring bad luck.

Dream Interpretation

Dreams have special meaning in Cantonese culture, and there are numerous ways to interpret dream symbols. For instance, having a dream of a snake is frequently interpreted as being unlucky, whereas having a dream of water may be auspicious.

Lucky Colors

In Cantonese culture, red is the most auspicious hue and is said to be lucky. It frequently evokes feelings of happiness, celebration, and luck. On the other hand, white is connected to death and grief.

Man whistling

Avoiding Whistling at Night

Cantonese belief holds that whistling at night draws ghosts and spirits. Many individuals refrain from whistling at night to avoid luring unwelcome otherworldly beings. And speaking of night, another important belief is that sweeping the floor at this time of the day is frowned upon in Cantonese culture. Sweeping away dirt and dust in the dark is a metaphor for sweeping away luck and fortune.

Woman Looking at Herself in Broken Mirror

Breaking Mirrors

Similar to Western superstitions, breaking a mirror is believed to bring seven years of bad luck in Cantonese culture. This concept is based on the notion that mirrors reflect the soul, and therefore shattered mirrors might be harmful to the soul.

Words Related To Cantonese Superstitions

Explore these linguistic gems and offer a glimpse into ancient beliefs, customs, and the fascinating interplay between language and culture!

English WordCantonesePronunciation
Taboos忌讳 gei6 wai6
Lucky幸运 hang6 wan6
Unlucky唔啉m4 lam2
Red红色hung4 sik1
Phoenix凤凰 fung6 wong4
Yin and Yang阴阳jam1 joeng4
Amulet护身符 wu6 san1 fu6
Talisman符咒 fu6 zau3
Ancestral Altar家神台 gaa1 san4 toi4
Sacrifice祭品 zai3 ban2
Offerings香烛 hoeng1 zuk1
Yuanbao (Gold Ingot)元宝 jyun4 bou2
Dragon Gates龙门 lung4 mun4
Feng Shui Master风水师傅 fung1 seoi2 si1 fu6
Green Hats绿帽子luk6 mou6 zi2
Incense Stickshoeng1
Smoke from Burning Incense Sticks Standing on Lotus Incense Holder

Learn Cantonese With Ling

Enjoyed this post? If you did, then you to check out our guides for Malay and Mongolian superstitions.

Are quirky Hong Kong superstitions piquing your curiosity? From superstitions that revolve around sounds similar to intriguing Chinese zodiac beliefs, there’s a whole world of traditions to explore within Chinese culture. But why stop there?

Introducing Ling, your passport to linguistic adventure! Ling isn’t your run-of-the-mill language-learning app; it’s a dynamic and user-friendly companion that’s just a tap away from Google Play and the App Store! Whether you’re starting from scratch and craving the basics, or you’re a seasoned language explorer looking to finesse your skills, Ling is your trusty sidekick through it all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.