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Lucky Numbers and Colors in Chinese Culture

Numbers and colors are important parts of Chinese culture. Numbers and colors endowed with lucky meanings are often used in Chinese people’s daily lives, from the dates picked for special events to the colors used for buildings.

Number 8 and Other "Lucky" Numbers

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 indicates prosperity, Wealth, success or social status.

    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.

  • Even numbers are preferred over odd numbers.

    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 in business.

    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.

Yellow, Red and Green are Considered Lucky Colors

chinese new yearRed is considered the luckiest color in China, and it is widely used during festivals and important events like wedding.
  • Yellow symbolized royalty and power of the throne.

    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 the Chinese national color and represents happiness, beauty, success and good fortune.

    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.

  • Green symbolizes money.

    Buildings, banks and restaurants are often painted in green and red.

Know Your Lucky Chinese Zodiac Colors in 2016

As per Chinese astrology, everyone has a zodiac sign and associated lucky colors. The most suitable and luckiest colors might differ each year. Use these lucky colors in your daily life for good luck in 2016.

Rats

  • Born in: ...1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020...
  • Lucky colors: blue and green

Oxes

  • Born in: ...1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021...
  • Lucky colors: yellow and green

Tigers

  • Born in: ...1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022...
  • Lucky colors: blue and gray

Rabbits

  • Born in: ...1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023...
  • Lucky colors: red and pink

Dragons

  • Born in: ...1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024...
  • Lucky colors: grayish white and silver

Snakes

  • Born in: ...1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025...
  • Lucky colors: yellow and black

Horses

  • Born in: ...1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026...
  • Lucky colors: yellow and green

Goats

  • Born in: ...1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027...
  • Lucky colors: red and purple

Monkeys

  • Born in: ... 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028...
  • Lucky colors: gold and blue

Roosters

  • Born in: ...1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029...
  • Lucky colors: brown and yellow

Dogs

  • Born in: ...1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030...
  • Lucky colors: green and purple

Pigs

  • Born in: ...1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031...
  • Lucky colors: gray and brown

It is believed that wearing lucky colors can bring luck and success. You can use your lucky colors in your house or office decor, as well as your accessories such as jewelry, belts, scarfs, wallets, etc. Good luck and all the best to you in 2016.

Read more about your Chinese zodiac animal signs on our Chinese Zodiac page.