Superstition – Chinese

Folklore: Chinese superstition (numbers)

The number four is bad because it means death. Mom told me when I was small. She said sixes and eights are good. Six means it flows well according to well. Eight means you’re going to be rich and wealthy. Everyone concurs with that.

If you go to China today, you can choose cell phone numbers. There are cards you can refill. Numbers with sixes and eights cost more, like 20 to 50 percent more. Hotels don’t have the fourth floor or the 13th floor (only after foreigners came in.) When in red envelopes, they give you 6, 6, 6. They give you $666 yuan or $888 yuan. It’s like good numbers. They never give $500.


It’s bad luck just because it sounds like death. The character for death sounds like the character. So when you say it without context you can’t tell the difference between the two. Therefore, the number four is bad because no one wants to die. So people just kind of hold on it from generation to generation. Chinese people don’t like death.

My Analysis:

The number four symbolizes death, an idea that scares many Chinese people who do not believe in an afterlife.