Chinese Lucky Numbers

Written by Sally Guo Updated Jun. 10, 2021

Although nowadays beliefs in lucky and unlucky numbers are often regarded as superstitious, Chinese people still keep such beliefs. A number is an important tool in accessing Chinese culture. The luckiest numbers are 8, 9, 6, and 2, while 4 and 7 are the two unlucky numbers.

 Below we give you complete lists of lucky numbers in Chinese culture.

Chinese Luckiest Numbers and their meanings

8 - the Luckiest Number in China

The number 8 is regarded as the luckiest in Chinese culture, as it is associated with prosperity since its pronunciation closely resembles the phrase for 发(fā)"making money."

Chinese people tend to prefer the number 8 when buying a house, license plate, or telephone number, as they believe the number 8 can bring them good fortune and prosperity.

In China, license plates featuring the number 8 are highly sought after, and plates containing multiple 8s can be extremely expensive. For instance, in 2016, a license plate with five number 8s was sold for over 18 million Hong Kong dollars. 

Chinese Lucky Number 9

The number 9 is considered especially propitious. 9 means long-lasting. 

So Chinese couples would be glad to get wedding gifts containing the number 9, like a bouquet of 99 roses, which has an auspicious meaning of “have a long-lasting happy life together”.

In feng shui, 9 is the highest on the number scale and represents the “ultimate masculinity”. It is used to symbolize the supreme sovereignty of the emperor.

So 9 or some multiple of 9 was often used in imperial house designs, like the 9,999 rooms in the Forbidden City.

Chinese Lucky Number 6

6 is pronounced “liu” in Mandarin Chinese, which sounds like the Mandarin Chinese word meaning “flowing, smooth, or frictionless”.

Therefore, the number 6 has the meaningeverything will go smoothly” and is considered lucky, especially where it occurs in multiples.

In feng shui, the number 6 represents authority and power.

A license plate with the number 66666 can be worth millions in China.

Young Chinese netizens widely use “666” to express admiration for people or things.

Chinese Lucky Number 2 

2 is considered lucky because the number 2 symbolizes pairs. Chinese people believe all good things come in pairs.

In a traditional Chinese wedding, the new couple’s house and the restaurant will be decorated with 2 (double) paper cuts, symbolizing double luck.

The number 2 is also used to describe the frank, innocent, reckless personality. They believe “2” reflects a positive attitude towards life.

Chinese Lucky Number Combinations: 168, 520, 666, 888

Chinese people love to use lucky number combinations to express their wishes or emotions.

Chinese Lucky Number combinations

lucky Numbers 168

The number 168 means "making a fortune all the way. " So it is especially preferred during the Chinese New Year.  

Lucky Numbers 520

The number 520 means “I love you”.  Young people like to send red envelopes with a cash quantity of 520 to their loved ones on Valentine's Day. 

Lucky Numbers 666

The number 666 means good luck all the time. It also means very cool. 

Lucky Numbers 888

888 means making a fortune all the way. It is often the cash quantity of the Red Envelope during Chinese New Year, as a blessing from the elders to the younger generations, who hopes they will have a smooth and successful life.

Chinese Unlucky Numbers: 4, 7

The two most unlucky numbers in Chinese culture are 4 and 7. Chinese people don't like them and avoid using them in their life.  

Unlucky Number 4

4 in China (and in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam) is considered terribly unlucky because it sounds like the word for “death”.

It is really a bad idea to assign the number 4 to anything. Generally, door numbers and car registration numbers do not contain any 4s, especially not in the last digit place.

The Unlucky Number 7

7 pronounces in Chinese similar to the pronunciation of the word meaning gone. 7 also relates to ceremonies that release dead souls from purgatory. In some parts of China, the 14th or 15th of the 7th month in the Chinese lunar calendar is the Ghost Festival, the date for holding sacrificial ceremonies.

Neutral Numbers: Safe Numbers

Chinese number 1

 It is often associated with united, beginning, independent, complete, and infinite meanings.

Chinese Number 3

In feng shui, 3 has a natural resonance in terms of beginning, middle, and end; introduction, development, and conclusion.

You can see this number widely used in Chinese culture: the Three Gorges, the Three Kingdoms in Chinese history, and the three halls of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Chinese Number 5

5 has been used to classify many things in Chinese, such as the five elements in astrology, the senses, and the basic colors. It is a neutral number. In feng shui, the 5th level of life sometimes means the best.

Chinese Numerology: Number Symbolism in Chinese Culture

Chinese lucky Number symbolism

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