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Ask Pingping and Jules--lucky and unlucky numbers in China
    2008-11-07 15:35:14     CRIENGLISH.com
Pingping: Hello, da4jia1 hao3. Welcome to Ask Pingping and Jules, your bridge to Chinese culture. Im Pingping.

Jules: Da4jia1 hao3, hello everybody. Im Jules, . Last time we talked about chopsticks, ӣkuai4zi.

Pingping: Right. Kuai4zi, chopsticks. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. There are many dos and donts. For example: please dont insert your chopsticks into a bowl of rice, and youd better not wave your chopsticks around while you are eating. 

Jules: Also its better not to beat the bowls or plates with chopsticks. So dont play the drums with your chopsticks in the restaurants.

Pingping: Yes.

Jules: We received some feedbacks from our listeners. One of our listeners Karen wrote: 

He, this is interesting! I knew some of these 'chopsticks rules', but now I also know why! :)

I have so many more questions about Chinese culture, the one that comes to my mind now is about 'bad luck'. In the western world we have Friday the 13th or in some countries Tuesday the 13th. Is there a day like that in China? And what other things stand for bad luck? I have the idea that Chinese people in general are quite superstitious, why is that?

Hope to hear more!

Jules: Pingping, do you think that Chinese people are quite superstitious?

Pingping: Superstition exists in every country. If you ask me whether Im superstitious, Id say no. Still Id follow the custom of having a haircut before the Spring Festival, which means we all have a new start in the fresh new year. Old custom does exit in China.

Jules: First, shall we talk about the lucky dates according to the Chinese culture? 

Pingping: Generally speaking, the Chinese are fond of even numbers, which are considered to be fortunate. The number 8 or ba1 has a similar pronunciation to the word ơ, meaning getting rich.

Jules: People believe that the number 8 could bring them good luck. Is that why people pay more money to get a mobile number with number 8?

Pingping: You bet. When choosing telephone numbers or some other comparatively fixed numbers, they would like to choose those with 8. Similarly, the number 6 or liu4 in Chinese is often associated with the meaning of smoothness.

And the Chinese believe that the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar is the best for the new couples to get married.

And its best to have your wedding during a leap year. And its better not to get married in the third, seventh and the ninth month according to the lunar calendar.

Pingping: Many people also like to choose a date for their wedding ceremonies that falls on an even numbered days like 6 or 8. Its lucky.

Jules: So is there any unlucky number?

Pingping: In contrast 4 or si4 is the least favorable number just as 13 is considered as the least favored number in western countries. This is because the number 4 sounds like the word pronounced in the third tonemeaning death in Chinese.

Jules: So if you have any questions about Chinese culture, contact us at the Chinese learning section of www.crienglish.com or send an e-mail to pingpingandjules@cri.com.cn. See you Pingping.

Pingping:  See you.

Ask Pingping and Jules--Chopsticks



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