In Chinese culture, certain numbers are considered "lucky" because their pronunciations sound similar to words that have "lucky" meanings.
Lucky numbers are very important in Chinese culture. People select lucky numbers when choosing residences, telephone numbers, business addresses, wedding dates, festivals and other celebratory events.
Number 8 sounds similar to the word "Fa" in Cantonese. "Fa" can mean prosperity, wealth, success, or social status. One example of its use was the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony held on August 8, 2008 (8/8/08), at 8:08 pm.
Chinese believe in harmony and balance. Therefore, even numbers are preferred over odd numbers. Number 2 represents harmony, and number 6 success. The pronunciation of number 9 sounds similar to the word for permanence.
Lucky numbers are also extremely important in Hong Kong. In this industrial and commercial city, competition is fierce and merchants vie for success. Often, they will select "lucky" days to celebrate grand openings or sign contracts. If the day has an 8, it is believed to bring luck. If the day has a 9, the business will have permanence. If the day has a 6, the venture will be successful.
The first Emperor of China was known as the Yellow Emperor. China was often referred to as Yellow Earth, and its mother river is the Yellow River. The skin color of Chinese people is yellow.
During the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), yellow glazed tiles were used to build imperial palaces. During Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1636 - 1911) Dynasties, emperors were dressed in yellow imperial robes. They rode in "Yellow Palace" carriages and traveled on "Yellow Paths". Official flags were yellow. Official seals were packaged in yellow fabric. Overlooking the Forbidden City from Beijing Jing Mountain, one can see a sea of yellow glazed tile roofs. Gilded copper urns and animals adorn many palaces.
Red is used extensively in everyday life. Red lanterns adorn businesses and residences. Double rows of red "Xi" (happiness) letters are pasted on gates and doors. People wore red during weddings, festivals and other celebratory events. Red envelopes stuffed with money are given as gifts during Chinese New Year.
Buildings, banks and restaurants are often painted in green and red.
According to Chinese astrology, a person's lucky numbers and colors depend on his/her birth time and date. Find out your lucky numbers and colors, and your Chinese zodiac animal signs on our Chinese Zodiac page.