numbers in Chinese culture

Topics: Numbers in Chinese culture, Chinese language, 9 Pages: 11 (2846 words) Published: October 17, 2014
n Chinese tradition, certain numbers are believed by some to be auspicious (吉利) or inauspicious (不利) based on the Chinese word that the number name sounds similar to. The numbers 0, 6, 8, and 9 are believed to have auspicious meanings because their names sound similar to words that have positive meanings. Contents

1 Lucky numbers
1.1 Zero
1.2 Two
1.3 Three
1.4 Five
1.5 Six
1.6 Seven
1.6.1 Forty-nine
1.7 Eight
1.8 Nine
2 Unlucky numbers
2.1 Four
2.2 Five
2.3 Six
3 Combinations
4 See also
5 References
6 External links
Lucky numbers[edit]
The Number 0 (零 or 檸, Pinyin:líng or níng) is a whole number and it is also an even number for the money ends with 0. Two[edit]
The number 2 (二 or 两, Pinyin:èr or liăng) is most often considered a good number in Chinese culture. There is a Chinese saying: "good things come in pairs". It is common to repeat characters in product brand names, such as double happiness, which even has its own character 囍, a combination of two 喜. In Cantonese, two (jyutping: ji6 or loeng5) ishomophone of the characters for "easy" (易) and "bright" (亮). In Northern China, the number, when used as an adjective, can also mean "stupid".[1] Three[edit]

The number 3 (三, Pinyin: sān, jyutping: saam1) sounds similar to the character for "birth" (生, Pinyin: shēng, jyutping: saang1), and is considered a lucky number.[citation needed] The number 3 is significant since there are three important stages in a man’s life (birth, marriage and death). Five[edit]

The number 5 (五, Pinyin: wŭ) is associated with the five elements (Water, Fire, Earth, Wood, and Metal) in Chinese philosophy, and in turn was historically associated with theEmperor of China. For example, the Tiananmen gate, being the main thoroughfare to the Forbidden City, has five arches. It is also referred to as the pronoun "I"[citation needed], as the pronunciations of "I" (我, Pinyin: wŏ, and 吾, Pinyin: wú) and 5 are similar in Mandarin. Six[edit]

The number 6 also represents wealth in Cantonese, this number is a homophone for (祿 Lok). 6 (六, Pinyin: liù) in Mandarin is pronounced the same as "liu" (溜, Pinyin: liù) and similar to "flow" (流, Pinyin: liú) and is therefore considered good for business. Seven[edit]

The number 7 (七, Pinyin: qī) symbolizes "togetherness". It is a lucky number for relationships. It is also recognized as the luckiest number in the West, and is one of the rare numbers that is great in both Chinese and many Western cultures. It is a lucky number in Chinese culture, because it sounds alike to the Chinese word 起 (Pinyin: qǐ) meaning arise, and also 气 (Pinyin: qì) meaning life essence. Forty-nine[edit]

Possibly by extension, the number 49, the square of seven, is used in many Chinese folk, Taoist and Buddhist rituals. For example, it is believed[by whom?] that a recently deceased spirit will linger in the living world for 49 days. Therefore a second requiem ritual is often performed at the end of 49 days. Similarly, many rituals require the performer to undergo a 49-day cleansing, fasting, etc. When named in ritualistic context, the number 49, as the square of seven, is almost always explicitly invoked as "7-7-49" (七七四十九) rather than simply "49". Eight[edit]

The word for "eight" (八 Pinyin: bā) sounds similar to the word which means "prosper" or "wealth" (發 – short for "發財", Pinyin: fā). In regional dialects the words for "eight" and "fortune" are also similar, e.g., Cantonese "baat3" and "faat3". There is also a visual resemblance between two digits, "88", and 囍, the "shuāng xĭ" ("double joy"), a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters 喜 ("xĭ" meaning "joy" or "happiness"). The number 8 is viewed as such an auspicious number that even being assigned a number with several eights is considered very lucky. In 2003, A telephone number with all digits being eights was sold for CN¥2.33 million (approximately USD$280,000) to Sichuan Airlines in Chengdu, China.[2] The opening ceremony...

References: 2. Jump up^ "China 's 'lucky ' phone number". BBC News. 2003-08-13. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
3. ^ Jump up to:a b "Patriot games: China makes its point with greatest show" by Richard Williams, The Guardian, published August 9, 2008
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