6+ Unbelievable Lucky Chinese Numbers

6+ Unbelievable Lucky Chinese Numbers

When I first started traveling outside of China, I was surprised at how often people would ask me about Lucky Chinese Numbers. Back home, certain numbers hold deep cultural significance and meaning that outsiders are often fascinated by.

During one trip to Europe with my friend Zhang, our tour guide even changed our room number from 4 to 8 at a hotel when he found out that Zhang was Chinese, explaining sheepishly that he hoped it would bring him better luck!

As a constant traveler to China, I’ve had many experiences that illustrate how central these lucky and unlucky numbers are in Chinese tradition. I mean, this concept in Chinese numerology even affects gifting traditions, architecture, car license plates, addresses, and more! So whether you’re planning a vacation to China, doing business there, or simply want to understand your Chinese friends and colleagues better, being aware of these numbers can make all the difference.

In this post, I’ll highlight unbelievable lucky numbers in Chinese culture that expats and tourists often want to know more about. Let’s begin!

What Are The Lucky Chinese Numbers

What Are The Lucky Chinese Numbers?

The Number 2

Chinese: 二 (èr)

The number 2 represents balance and harmony, which are paramount values in Chinese culture. This is also the reason why the Chinese people have the saying, “Good things come in pairs” (好事成双).

When I host foreign visitors in China, they’re always tickled when I explain why decorations always come in pairs. A classic example is the red paper couplets you’ll see adorning doorways during Chinese New Year. These display auspicious phrases, with one scroll on each side to symbolize harmony. Other paired lucky items include candles, pillows, fish bowls, and vases of flowers. Anything signifying a perfect union, really.

The Number 5

Chinese: 五 (Wǔ)

The number 5 carries deep historical and philosophical weight, going back to the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth) that ancient Chinese thought composed the universe. You’ll notice the prominence of 5 in China’s imperial history too, with the army arranged in 5 divisions and the emperor’s garments decorated with 5-clawed dragons.

6 Lucky Chinese Numbers

The Number 6

Chinese: 六 (Liù)

Of all the auspicious digits in China, number 6 may be the sleekest and most elegant. Its Mandarin pronunciation, “liù,” sounds remarkably similar to the phrases for “flowing water” or “everything going smoothly.” 6, therefore, signifies a life of ease and fluid positive progress – who wouldn’t want that?

I have many friends who carefully scheduled major life events around the number 6 to tap into its prosperous symbolism. My colleague Lanlan even registered her wedding on June 6th (06/06) to double up the fortune. She even joked that if she can, she also wants to have her baby at 6:06 am! Talk about being precise for prosperity!

The number 6 also creeps into happy occasions in subtler ways. When a Chinese couple gets engaged, for example, the groom-to-be traditionally presents the bride’s family with a financial gift of 6,666 RMB. This even number repetition marks the harmonious union of two families joining together.

The Number 7

Chinese: 七 (Qī)

In Chinese cosmology, the number 7 represents the union of opposing forces, yin and yang, with the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth). 7 is, therefore, seen as a complete foundation for stability according to Confucian numerology.

While the 7th month brings ominous superstition, the number 7 itself flows as an undercurrent through celebrations of life’s hopeful beginnings and sacred unions. For a wedding, 7 is seen as the perfect number of tables for the banquet. While giving birth, rooms with numbers containing 7’s are favored by expecting mothers.

8 Lucky Chinese Numbers

The Number 8

Chinese: 八 (āB)

Of all the fortunate numbers in China, 8 takes the crown as the ultimate symbol of prosperity and success. Its Chinese pronunciation of “bā” mimics the word for wealth or riches. 8 taps into deep cultural longing for material comfort and abundance.

There’s a popular old saying, “Bāmiàn láicái” (八面来财), meaning “wealth rushing in from all directions.” Images of money raining down from all 8 sides perfectly capture why this number is so beloved! I guess that the desire for fortunes rolling in runs deep in the Chinese psyche.

You’ll notice people jostling for home addresses, phone numbers, and license plates containing long strings of 8’s. My friend just bought an apartment that ended in 8888, and you should have seen his proud smile when he got the keys! There’s even a special name – “consecutive eights” (八连发) for extra fortunate numbers with unbroken sequences of 8s.

The Number 9

Chinese: 九 (Jiǔ)

Of all the lucky numbers in China, 9 is the most romantic at heart. Its pronunciation of “jiǔ” mimics the word for eternity or permanence. 9 has, therefore, become the go-to number for expressing enduring love and affection.

On Valentine’s Day, nothing conveys devotion like gifting your sweetheart 99 roses. The double 9’s signify everlasting fidelity and passion. Nine is also the highest single-digit number, lending it an aura of completeness for binding two souls.

Even in modern business affairs, 9 indicates lasting promise and commitment between partners when incorporated into contracts or deals. So next time you see Chinese partners exchanging documents on the 9th or 19th day of a month, they likely intend to seal a particularly enduring relationship!

13 Lucky Chinese Numbers

The Number 13

Chinese: 十三 (Shísān)

While Westerners shudder at the sight of 13, considering it the ultimate unlucky number, Chinese culture cheers this modest digit as a bringer of good fortune!

With the pronunciation of “shísān,” 13 has a cheerful linguistic meaning of “assured growth.” Its symbolic ties with the lunar calendar also give 13 an aura of vibrancy and life-giving energy aligned to nature’s cycles. The 13th moon is seen as a time of renewal and festivity, with the brilliant full moon lighting up new possibilities.

You’ll notice many Chinese couples happily registering their marriages on the 13th day of the month. And 13 is often used in addresses or payment amounts for major business deals to activate its prosperous symbolism.

During one work trip to Shanghai, I noticed the subtle power of 13 when my local colleague scheduled an important client meeting at exactly 1:13 pm on the 13th floor of our office tower. He smiled and said the three 13s would stack the odds in our favor for signing the lucrative deal. And sure enough, we came to a very beneficial agreement for all parties that day!

Learn The Traditional Chinese Culture And Language Now

Whether you’re traveling to China for business or pleasure, keeping these number codes in mind helps you navigate local customs with sensitivity. But the mysteries of lucky Chinese numbers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unraveling the intricacies of the Chinese language and tradition.

If you want to dive deeper into decoding symbols plus mastering practical Mandarin, I highly recommend checking out the Ling app. The interactive lessons in Ling simply make grasping the complexities of characters fun through customizable courses, games, and multimedia content. Give it a try now!

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