Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lucky Beijing Olympics

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics took place at 8 pm on August 8, 2008 (08/08/08). Did you notice too many 8s in that sentence? Why did China choose that particular time for the opening ceremony? It is because 8 is considered a lucky number in China just like 7 is considered lucky in many other parts of the world. That is why the more 8s you have in your phone number the luckier you are. China’s Sichuan Airlines paid about US$280,000 to register the phone number 8888-8888. But why is 8 considered lucky?

(): 8

(): to make a fortune

As you can see above, in Chinese language 8 sounds very similar to the word which means “to make a fortune”. Now that explains why a lot of Chinese couples were getting married on the day of the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. And that record was broken a year later on September 9, 2009. Yes, you guessed it right. 9 must sound like something with a good meaning too.

(jiǔ): 9

(jiǔ): forever

Those couples were hoping that their wedding will last forever. And, what about the unlucky number? No it’s not 13. Here is a hint.

(Source: click here)

As you might have noticed the elevator in this building in China is missing the 4th floor. Let’s find out what 4 sounds like.

(): 4

(sǐ): death

No wonder its considered unlucky. And, here are the remaining numbers:

(): 1

(èr): 2

(sān): 3

(wǔ): 5

(liù): 6

(): 7


  1. So I think I'm in good shape-- my birthday is 8/28/84 (quite a lot of 8s) and I'm getting married on the 9th day (lucky in China) of the 7th month (lucky in US). Woohoo :)

  2. Why do Chinese people take these superstitions about numbers so seriously? Or are there other countries where people do similar things?

  3. Some people get serious with number eight. Here is a journalist whose name is Jennifer 8 Lee!

  4. So this is how I analyzed the numbers.
    My birth date is 07/07/1984
    The sum of all the digits of my birth date= 7 + 7+ 1 + 9 + 8+ 4= 36
    The sum of digits of total 36 = 3 + 6 = 9
    9= forever
    Am I going to live forever? lol

  5. I remember when we discussed this at Middlebury's summer school. It is actually a very interesting. They have some believes that one would never believe. Once my friend told me that when they went to a restaurant in Beijing, they said that they were 4 and the guy kept repeating that they are 5. They were like what the heck, but then they found out why it was like that.

  6. Incredible and tremendous work from the blogger.I've being having so much fun with the numbers.However,then,it was interesting to know the uselessness and hopelessness of the number (4) in the Chinese clout.Interesting!Help me to equip myself with the numbers on your next post.