The Lucky No. 8: What Does it Symbolize in Chinese Culture?

Numbers have always played a significant role in Chinese culture. Many people in China often associate numbers with the meaning of either bad or good luck. The number 8 is considered the luckiest of numbers in China, and they believe the more 8’s, the better. ‘8’ is also uniquely symmetric, and when laid on its side, resembles the Greek symbol for infinity.


Why ‘8’ is Auspicious?

‘8’ is the most favoured number in modern China due to its association with wealth and luck. The Chinese love this number both in trivial matters and in big moments. That is why gifts are known to be given in even numbers for the celebration of all occasions. The number 8 has long been regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture, with 8 in Chinese, 八 (bā). The character sounds similar to the word 发 (Fā), which means to make a fortune. It contains meanings of prosperity, success and high social status too. Therefore, most people in business favour this number very much.


Some Fun Facts of how ‘8’ is implemented 

  • The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony took place at the exact time of 8/8/2008 at 8:08.08
  • A telephone number with all digits being eights was sold for ¥2.33 million (about AU$450,000) to Sichuan Airlines in Chengdu, China.
  • Also, pure luck, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore use the time zone UTC+08:00.
  • Singapore Airlines and SriLankan Airlines both reserve flight numbers beginning with the number 8 to routes in China.
  • In 2014, two number plates with “8888” were sold for RMB 12 million and RMB 17.2 million separately in Zhengzhou and Shenzhen, an amazingly high price.
  • Bagua (八卦) literally means Eight Symbols. People now use it to refer to personal information. 
  • Chinese Numerology: 8 means wealth, success.
  • The eighth day of the Chinese New Year is the day for the annual gathering of all the gods in Heaven.
  • Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Chinese Lunar calendar.


Coincidentally, for this Chinese New Year in Singapore, only eight visitors are allowed the whole day and remember to limit your visits to at most two households a day.

Let’s all stay united and remain socially responsible during the Chinese New Year festivities. Happy Chinese New Year!


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