Why Chinese people always love the number of 8?

By | February 19, 2013

The magic number of 8: Why Chinese people always love the number of 8?

The secret behind the Chinese people’s great love of the number 8 is more than “the pronunciation of number 8 is closing to the word of becoming rich”. It implies at least two facts:-

1. Chinese people are superstitious for thousands of years. As a matter of fact, in most Chinese dialects the number 8 has a very different pronunciation from that of the word of becoming rich. The major language that functions this way is Cantonese which is believed to have thousands of years since the Qing Dynasty. Cantonese had been preserved because of Guangdong Province’s geological separation from the other provinces which kept the major domestic wars away.

2. Chinese people value utility. Number of 8 symbolizes “becoming rich” as well as “having a lot of offspring”. There is an old saying goes like this: Save more grains for hungry and have more sons for life supporting at old age. Having more offspring represents Chinese people’s very long term plan. They think about the days of retirement by having grandsons and sons of grandsons around. As a matter of fact, the Chinese people’s value of utility keeps away major religions because religions do not directly bring utility in their thinking though they were and still are superstitious because of the fear of unknown. And that is probably why China is considered as a country without religions with the religion life occupying a very small part of people’s life (people spend probably more time in having morning tea than praying).

Unluckily, 8 is not really a lucky number for China for the past decades with the happening of major catastrophes in years ended with 8:-

2008 The Sichuan Earthquake killed an estimated 68,000 people;

1998 Asian financial crisis hit China as well;

1988 Air plane crushed killing all 108 people on board.

Anyhow, long existing social customs are usually coming with heavy persistence. Chinese people would continue to love the number 8 with enthusiasm at all costs.

Keywords: Lucky number eight in China, 中国文化 幸运数字8

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