Chinese Numerology: Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in China

In the vibrant tapestry of Chinese culture, numbers hold a deeply rooted and multifaceted significance. Lucky and unlucky numbers shape Chinese society’s daily choices and significant life events. This blog delves into the fascinating world of Chinese numerology, exploring the profound impact numbers have on the lives and customs of the people.

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Lucky Numbers in Chinese Culture

Number 8: The most auspicious and favored number

Chinese numerology reveres the number 8 as the luckiest number. Its profound significance originates from its phonetic resemblance to “prosperity” and “wealth” in Chinese, rendering it a greatly coveted aspect in numerous facets of Chinese society.

Symbolism of Prosperity

Symbolism of Prosperity

The number 8 actively associates with abundant wealth, financial success, and material blessings.
Believers attribute its rounded shape to resembling a coin, symbolizing the continuous flow and accumulation of riches.

Harmony with Traditional Beliefs

Harmony with Traditional Beliefs

The reverence for the number 8 aligns with ancient Chinese beliefs in harmony and balance. The number’s symmetry and balance are in harmony with the principles of yin and yang, emphasizing equilibrium and positive energy.

Auspicious Occasions

People highly favor number 8 for significant life events, such as weddings, business openings, and property transactions. Believers actively choose dates with the number 8, believing it brings good luck and ensures a prosperous future.

Numerology and Feng Shui

Numerology and Feng Shui

Number 8 is central in Chinese numerology and Feng Shui, influencing life’s aspects. Its association with prosperity makes it essential to determining auspicious arrangements and placements.

Business and Marketing

Business and Marketing

In the business world, the influence of the number 8 is particularly evident. Chinese entrepreneurs use the number 8 in company names, branding, and pricing to attract customers and ensure success.

Superstitions and Cultural Traditions

The significance of the number 8 extends beyond business and celebrations. For example, the Beijing Olympics 2008 commenced on 08/08/08 at 8:08 PM, as organizers meticulously chose the date and time for their auspicious qualities.

Numerological Combinations

The positive associations of the number 8 are further amplified when it appears in specific combinations. For instance, the repetition of the number 8 (e.g., 888, 8888) intensifies its luck-bringing potential.

Cultural Impact Beyond China

Cultural Impact Beyond China

The reverence for the number 8 has transcended China’s borders and influenced other cultures.
Countries with significant Chinese populations or economic ties often recognize and respect the importance of the number 8.

Number 9: Symbolizing eternity and longevity

Number 9 holds significant cultural and symbolic importance in Chinese numerology culture. Its status as one of the luckiest numbers is rooted in various aspects of Chinese history, mythology, and belief systems, leading to its revered status.

The symbolism of Completeness and Eternity

The concept of completeness and eternity is associated with the number 9. In Chinese cosmology, nine is the highest single-digit number, representing a complete cycle and encompassing all numbers before it. This completeness reflects the belief in harmony and balance in the universe.

Homophonic Association

The Chinese language is rich in homophones, where different words share the same pronunciation. The number 9’s pronunciation in Chinese, “jiu,” is similar to the word for “long-lasting” or “eternal” (久, jiǔ). This phonetic connection further reinforces its association with eternity and longevity.

Symbol of Longevity and Immortality

Symbol of Longevity and Immortality

People associate nine with longevity and immortality inPeople associate nine with longevity and immortality in traditional Chinese medicine and Taoist belief. Believers believe practicing specific exercises or cultivating virtuous behaviors in sets of nine can lead to a longer and healthier life.

Cultural and Mythological Significance

In ancient Chinese mythology and cosmology, the belief in nine layers of heaven and nine underworlds bestowed profound significance upon 9, influencing the fabric of the cosmic order.

Festive and Ritual Use

Number 9 plays a prominent role in numerous Chinese festivals and rituals. Notably, during the 15-day Chinese New Year festivities, people regard the ninth day of the lunar month as exceptionally promising. Moreover, the Double Ninth Festival observed on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, holds special significance as it pays homage to older people and seeks protection from potential misfortunes.

Numerology and Feng Shui

Chinese numerology and Feng Shui practices hold the number 9 in high regard. People often use it with other lucky numbers to enhance positive energy and attract good fortune. For instance, people believe pairing 9 with 8 (the luckiest number) brings immense prosperity.

Mathematical Importance

Beyond its symbolic significance, the number 9 holds mathematical importance. In ancient Chinese mathematical systems, the concept of the number 9 was integral to various arithmetic principles and calculations.

Influence in Arts and Literature

Number 9’s significance extends to Chinese arts and literature. In traditional Chinese poetry, a stanza typically consists of lines with nine characters. 81 (9×9) also holds cultural importance, representing the totality of numbers within the “magic square” used in ancient divination.

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Number 6: Representing smoothness and success

In Chinese culture, people attribute significant symbolism to the number 6, associating it with positive attributes. They consider it a lucky number, deeply ingraining its belief in various aspects of life, including everyday practices, business, relationships, and spirituality, alongside numbers 8 and 9, also seen as promising.

Smoothness and Success

Smoothness and Success of Chinese numerology

The number 6 in Chinese culture is linked to the concept of “liu liu da shun” (六六大顺), signifying “smooth sailing” or “everything going smoothly.” Its pronunciation, resembling the word for “smooth” (顺), establishes a fortunate connection. Consequently, number 6 is regarded as auspicious, particularly in endeavors related to success and progress.

Business and Finance

Many Chinese business owners and entrepreneurs highly favor the number 6 in business and finance. They believe incorporating it into business names, phone numbers, or pricing can attract prosperity and good fortune, bringing in more customers and ensuring business success.

Relationships and Harmony

Couples may choose wedding dates that include the number 6, believing it promotes harmony and balance in relationships, bringing blessings for a smooth and harmonious marital life. Similarly, people often use the number 6 in their personal phone numbers or license plates, hoping for positive energy and good relationships with others.

Feng Shui

Chinese numerology

In Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of harmonizing one’s environment, six is considered a yang number, representing positive and active energy. Its balanced and harmonious shape promotes a harmonious flow of energy in living spaces, making it an auspicious number for homes and offices.

Spirituality and Religion

Within spirituality and religion, the number 6 has profound significance. It is associated with heavenly virtues and celestial realms. For example, in Taoism, there are six celestial realms or heavens, each governed by a deity.

Cultural Celebrations

Cultural Celebrations of Chinese numerology

The number 6 often plays a role in various cultural celebrations and rituals. During the Chinese New Year, it is common to see decorations with symbols representing the number 6 to attract good fortune and prosperity for the upcoming year.

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Unlucky Numbers in Chinese Culture

Number 4: The most feared and avoided number

Number 4, known as “si” (四) in Mandarin, holds a significant place in Chinese culture, but not for reasons of good fortune. On the contrary, it is often associated with bad luck and superstitions. The negative connotation of the number 4 stems from its phonetic similarity to the Chinese word for “death” (死 – pronounced “si” as well).


Chinese numerology Superstitions

The belief in the unlucky nature of the number 4 is deeply ingrained in Chinese society. Many actively avoid anything related to the number 4, particularly in significant life events and daily practices.

Building and Architecture

chinese numerology Building and Architecture

In China, buildings often omit the fourth floor, and apartments or hotel rooms may skip numbers containing 4 (e.g., 104, 204). Instead, floors may be numbered 3A, 5A, or similar to avoid using the number 4.


chinese numerology in hospital

Hospitals frequently avoid using the number 4 in room numbers or floors to prevent patients and their families from associating illness or death with the facility.

Phone Numbers

Phone numbers with the digit four may be seen as less desirable and are sometimes avoided. On the other hand, phone numbers with many 8s are considered auspicious and are sought after.


The aversion or fear of the number 4 is termed “tetraphobia,” which represents the widespread superstition surrounding this number across various East Asian cultures, extending beyond China.

Cultural Festivals

During traditional festivals or celebrations, people might refrain from gifting items in four sets, as they perceive it as bringing bad luck to the recipient.

Street Numbers

chinese numerology with street numbers

Some neighborhoods or streets might skip numbers containing 4 to accommodate the cultural beliefs surrounding this number.


Due to the negative association with the number 4, some people use alternative words or phrases to indirectly refer to the number without using the word “si.”

Complex Numbers in Chinese Culture

Number 7: Symbolizing complexly

Chinese numerology

In Chinese culture, the number 7 holds a significant and complex symbolism, encompassing both positive and negative connotations. Unlike the universally revered number 8 and the feared number 4, number 7’s meaning varies across different historical, cultural, and regional contexts.

Positive Associations

  • Positive Traits: Some Chinese traditions associate the number 7 with positive attributes like intelligence, wisdom, and spiritual enlightenment, symbolizing highly intellectual and insightful individuals.
  • Celestial Connection: Number 7 often links to the heavens and celestial realms, representing a connection between the material world and the divine. It associates with transcending earthly limitations and gaining access to higher knowledge.
Celestial Connection

Negative Associations

  • Mourning and Funerals: In certain Chinese regions, the number seven is linked to death and mourning because it sounds similar to the word “together” in Mandarin. As a result, people consider it inauspicious to use the number 7 during funerals or when expressing condolences.
  • Unlucky Days: Some interpretations of Chinese numerology consider the seventh day of the lunar month inauspicious for certain activities, particularly weddings or important events. The negative associations with the number influence this belief.
Mourning and Funerals

Cultural Expressions

  • The Seven Stars of the Big Dipper: In ancient Chinese astronomy, people considered the Big Dipper a significant constellation of seven stars. They believed it had a protective influence and attributed spiritual and directional meanings to its shape.
The Seven Stars of the Big Dipper

  • Seven Days of the Week: Various cultures, including China, use the seven-day week. The number 7’s significance subtly influences cultural perceptions of the week, although the days are not directly tied to numerology.
Seven Days of the Week

Regional Variations

The interpretation of numbers in Chinese culture varies across regions and customs. While some places emphasize the positive aspects of the number 7, others focus more on its negative associations.

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Through an in-depth exploration of historical roots, cultural manifestations, and contemporary practices, this blog seeks to unravel the cultural significance of lucky and unlucky numbers in China. As we navigate the diverse and captivating landscape of Chinese numerology, we gain insight into the heart of a culture where numbers serve not merely as mathematical symbols but as influential forces shaping destiny and guiding lives.

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