Chinese Numerology 101: How To Understand It

Chinese Numerology 101: How To Understand It

Just like Western culture, Chinese numerology gives special symbolic meaning to numbers. In this system, certain numbers are viewed as auspicious while others are viewed as inauspicious.

Rather than giving a deep personality trait with each number, such as Pythagorean numerology, Chinese Numerology takes “sounds” into consideration. Each of the chinese numbers meaning creates a sound when spoken aloud, and these sounds have a specific meaning behind them.

If a number sounds similar to a word with negative connotations, then its perceived to be an inauspicious number. We’ll explain the meaning behind these numbers so you can create a better reading on your personality, life choices, and find the positive and negative connotations behind each number.

Auspicious Numbers

These numbers are commonly referred to as “lucky numbers.” If you have any of these numbers, then chances are you’ll receive a good fortune or outcome because of it. Here are the auspicious numbers available in Chinese Numerology.

6 (六, LIÙ) - Lucky

Six is considered to be a lucky number in China because it sounds like “liu” which stands for flow. Businesses use the number six as a way to promote good luck and fortune. This is different than Western culture’s connotation of the number where ‘666’ means the devil.

Chinese number 6

Instead, multiple numbers of 6 mean an increased flow. Based off a Chinese idiom, 六六大顺 (liù liù dà shùn), means that everything will run smoothly and go as planned.

8 (八, BĀ) - Lucky

Eight is the luckiest number in Chinese numerology. This is because “八” sounds similar to “fortune” and “wealth” in Chinese. In fact, multiple 8s is better as it shows a resemblance to 囍 (shuāng xǐ) which stands for “double happiness.”

While the Chinese will go to great lengths to avoid a 4, they’ll quickly add an 8 for good luck for special events and any moment. For instance, in the Beijing Summer Olympics, the opening ceremony started at 8:08 PM on 8/8/2008.

Lucky number 8

Since 8 is used to deliver good luck, most Chinese airlines will use 8 for their flight numbers. We suggest using the number 8 if you want the highest amount of luck possible.

9 (九, JIǓ) - Lucky

九 sounds like “久” (jiǔ), which stands for “eternity” and “long-lasting” in Chinese. At weddings and birthday celebrations, the number 9 is used to represent longevity. Also, 9 is associated with ancient Chinese emperors.

Jiu Chinese number 9

The emperor wore robes with 9 dragons placed on them. And, the officials were placed in nine ranks, and the Forbidden City has approximately 9,999 rooms.

Inauspicious Numbers

Inauspicious numbers are regarded as negative and will bring misfortune whenever presented. These are the inauspicious numbers that need to be avoided.

4  (四, SÌ) - Unlucky

Four is an unlucky number in Chinese numerology. The number symbolizes “death” and represents misfortune. This number 4 is completely avoided by everyone in many parts of China.

Due to its notoriety and bad luck, many Chinese hotels don’t set their fourth, fourteenth, or other floors that have a 4. When creating telephone numbers or vehicles, many people avoid using the number 4 in their identification plates.

Death Chinese

While it does have a negative connotation, 4 is still used in Chinese culture. Usually, 4 is used at that point to mark historical or religious events that occur. For instance, four is used in Buddhism to note the highest physical power a human can possess.

7 (七, QĪ) - Lucky/Unlucky

Unlike the 4, 7 has a mixture of positive and negative connotations behind it. The number gives off a sound “起 (qǐ)” which stands for “rise” or “start.” And, it sounds like 气 (qì) which stands for “vital energy.”

The 7th month in China stands for the ghost month. During this month, ghosts rise from hell to visit the earth. While ghosts are usually regarded as omens, Chinese culture celebrates them during their 7-month ghost festival.

chinese symbols

On the other hand, 7 can be considered unlucky. To some, the number sounds like “欺” which means to cheat. If your number is inauspicious, try to find switch it to a lucky number to prevent any negative misfortunes from occurring.

Other Numbers

0  (零, LING) - Neutral

Zero stands for being limitless and nothing. In Chinese culture, everything starts with 0.

1 (一Yī) - Neutral

One stands for the first. While it’s the simplest number, its one of the most complex numbers in Chinese culture. It’s not auspicious nor inauspicious.  People use number 1 to determine the winner. It also means loneliness, beginning, and being single.

2 (二, ÈR) - Lucky

The Chinese view doubles as a sign of luck. Most gifts are given in even numbers. And, decorations for celebrations are given in pairs. During the Chinese New Year, banners are placed symmetrically next to each other.

For Chinese weddings, banners will have words such as“ 囍 (shuāng xǐ),” to demonstrate “happiness.” Businesses will also repeat names and slogans for good fortune.

3. (三, SĀN) - Lucky

The number 3 sounds similar to “生,” which stands for “giving birth” or “life” in Chinese. Usually, Chinese culture emphasizes powerful families and healthy children. In Buddhism, a religion that’s commonly practiced in China, the 3 is an important number because it relates to the “three jewels,” a main concept and foundational ideal in Buddhism.

Chinese Numbers

5.  (五, WǓ) - Lucky/Unlucky

Five is associated with both good and bad luck. 五 sounds like “无 (wú)” which means “nothing” or “without in Chinese.” But, the number is also a symbol of positivity since most traditional Chinese philosophical concepts use the number 5.

For example, the number 5 is used to demonstrate the 5 elements and is taught in multiple martial arts practices. Also, the number 5 is seen in feng shui, music, and in medical herbs.


With frequent studying and applying their methods, Chinese Numerology can be a great addition to your life. To conclude, understanding Chinese Numerology will help you predict your luck more efficiently, accurately, and determine what numbers can benefit or harm you.

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