8-8-8 Lucky Numbers in China for Beijing Olympics

When you think of 8-8-8, what comes to your mind?

8-8-8 fertilizer versus a 13-13-13 fertilizer comparison?

8-8-8 is also August 8, 2008 which is the opening night for the 2008 Olympics

For the Chinese, the number 8 is considered lucky just like the number 7 is considered lucky in North America. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Olympic games in China start on Friday August 8, 2008 or 08/08/08.

In China you have to pay extra to have the number 8 in your phone number or license plate. In addition, home and business owners like to have the number 8 in their civic address.

If you turn the number eight 90 degrees horizontally, it becomes “infinity” in math or “eternity” philosophy. In Chinese Astrology, perfect balance is considered the ideal.

You can slice the number 8 in half vertically or horizontally, and both halves mirror themselves perfectly. Again, perfect symmetry lends itself to perfect balance.

The number 8 in Chinese is pronounced “baat” and sounds like “faat” meaning “prosperity” or “wealth”

As well, 88 means “double wealth” or “double prosperity”.

The number 4 is pronounced “sei” and it resembles the word “death”. 44 is super unlucky as it means “double death”.

The number 4 is unlucky just like number 13 in North America. It is not uncommon to see no 4th floor in Vancouver or Richmond Condos and high rises, but you do see number 13. In fact, you don’t see floors 14, 24, and 34!

The number 14 is considered to be one of the unluckiest numbers in Chinese culture, as it is literally translated to “ten die” or “want to die?”.

Perhaps on your next wedding gift to a Chinese couple, you should give $88.88? Or, better yet, $8888 if you can afford it!

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at SpeedEndurance.com
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • I never knew that number 8 is considered to be a lucky for Chinese people indeed! Now I got it that why August 8, 2008 is the commencing date of the ever great Olympics. Also number 4 has a miserable mystery- I swear I wasn’t aware of this one too!

  • Back in 2007 at the World Youth Champs in Ostrava I was drawn in Heat 8 Lane 8 It was a personal best by far almost 0.3sec should i try to get a chinese passport hahahaa