Chinese Lucky Numbers

What are Some Lucky Chinese Numbers?

Almost every Chinese person is a budding numerologist, so you don't have to go far to find someone who will talk to you about Chinese lucky numbers. 

Many things determine whether or not a number is lucky or not, and often that will be simply what other word the number sounds like.


For example, the number 6 (liu) sounds like the word for flowing or smooth (especially with regards to money!), and hence is lucky.  In multiples like 6666, it is especially lucky. Obviously this is quite different from the negative associations of 666 in the Christian world!


The number 7 is not just one of the most important Western lucky numbers, it is also one of the important Chinese lucky numbers too. It sounds like "arise" and the numeral itself symbolizes togetherness. Consequently, it is especially a good number with regard to relationships.


One of the Chinese lucky numbers that is most auspicious is 8, and this is partly because it sounds like the word for wealth. People will actually pay large sums of money to get phone numbers, car tags, or set or book flight numbers with multiple eights. Flight numbers throughout Asia often have multiple eights.

One of the most famous uses of the number eight was when the Beijing Summer Olympic Committee set the opening of the games on 08/08/08 at eight minutes and eight seconds after 8:00 pm! One of the reasons eight is thought to be so lucky is its symmetry. Double anything is particularly auspicious.


One of the best Chinese lucky numbers is 2, because it doubles all good things, yet another reason 8, and especially two 8's are thought lucky. Perhaps you've heard of "double happiness," the character in which the two symmetrical pieces mean joy. This symbol almost always appear at weddings and in American Chinese restaurants.


Not all numbers are lucky based just on their sounds. The number 5 reminds a Chinese person of the five element guardians, water, fire, earth, wood, and metal. These elements appear in many Taois teachings, especially in the Chinese zodiac, and in solutions for health. For this reason many architectural pieces, like Tiananmen Square, gateway to the Forbidden City, have five arches.


9 is another one of the Chinese lucky numbers. First of all it sounds like "long lasting." It also brings to mind the Emperor of Chinese, whose robes depicted nine dragons. Dragons were supposed to have nine children, hence nine's association with harmony.

Unlucky Chinese Numbers

You can't leave out the unlucky numbers in Chinese though, the worst of which is probably 4. In most Chinese dialects it sounds like "death," with only the tone being different. Even in modern day high rises fourth floors are often missing, jumping from the third floor to the fifth. And many an unwitting foreigner has purchased or rented a place at a premium on the fourth floor of a building that does have one.

Chinese lucky numbers can be found everywhere, and most Chinese people are very sensitive to the superstitions with these, in everything from plane tickets to phone numbers, to car tags.

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