Chinese Characters

Lucky Numbers and Colors in China

Colors and numbers are very important in Chinese culture as they stand for different meanings, lucky or unlucky. Today I will introduce you Chinese lucky colors and numbers, of cource unlucky ones.

1. Lucky numbers in Chinese culture

1). Six – Happiness and Health

As I introduced in another article (what does 666 mean in China), six is always considered as a lucky number with the meaning of happiness and health. For example, we usually use “六亲(liù qīn) to stand for relatives and 身怀六甲(shēn huái liù jiǎ) for pregnant women. Besides, the dates with number six are usually considered as lucky days when people tend to marry on these days like 6, 16, and 26.

2). Eight – Wealth

The pronunciation of eight (bā) in Chinese language is similar to the pronunciation of 发, which means wealth in Chinese culture. Therefore, eight is also believed as a lucky number. If you pay enough attention to the phones number and the license plate’s number on the car, you will find that almost all rich people like to choose them with number of eight. The more, the better. In addition, when you apply a phone number in China, you will need to pay extra money if the number has more that one eight.

3). Nine – Forever and Everlasting

In our daily life, this number is also thought of a lucky number with the meaning of forever. So it’s completely not weird if you see a license plate of a car with numbers like 99, 999 and even 9999. Except for at this point, nine is more likely to be endowed with special meaning in love. If you want to express your love to a Chinese girl, giving her 9, 99, 999 and even 9999 roses will definitly a best choice.

2. Chinese Unwelcome numbers

1). Four – Death

In China, four refers to death. Hence, it is not welcome in China. If you need to give somebody presen, or need to book a room for your business partner, it would be a wise choice to avoid number of four.

3. Lucky Colors in China

1). Red – Happiness and Good Fortune

Red represent fire and is the most popular color in China, especially in some special moments like Chinese New Year, wedding and celebratory events. So if you plan to visit your girlfriend’s parents during Chinese New Year, it will help you leave a good impression to them if you wear something red like sweater, coat or scarf.

2). Yellow – Royalty

If you have watched Chinese Spring Festival Gala, you will find the main colors are red and yellow. Besides, the red envelop and couplet usually consist of yellow and red colors.

3). Green – Hope

Generally speaking, green is a lucky color, except for in two special conditions: one is in the stock market, the other is for the couples. As for the stock market, green means the value of the stock falls down. As for the couples, we usually use 绿帽子(lǜ mào zi) to describe the person if his girlfriend/wife or her boyfriend/husband cheats him/her or have an affair with others.

4. Unwelcome colors in China

1). white – death

In the thoughts of the old people, they think white is an unlucky color as we usually use white stuff to decorate if one died. But in modern China, the young’s though is gradually westernized and tend to choose white things especially in wedding dress.

2). Black – hopeless and darkness

Black can be considered unlucky too given it’s association to the darkness and secrecy. The word ‘mafia’ translates to ‘black society’ in Chinese.


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