In most cultures numbers of every size have always held a particular significance, whether lucky, unlucky or symbolic of something else entirely. For example “unlucky 13” is fairly widespread across the world and there are a number of possible explanations for this.
One of the most prevalent is that it was the number of people who attended the Last Supper on the evening before Jesus was arrested and crucified. It still holds so much power that many streets in the UK don’t have a house number 13, instead opting for 12A and anyone throwing a dinner party will probably think twice about inviting 13 guests to it.
Although belief in numerology, as the study of numbers and their significance is called, is widespread across the world it is taken particularly seriously in China. This reaches into almost every part of life, even as far as particular phone numbers being favoured over others because of the digits that they include.
As the Chinese are also a nation well-known for their love of gambling the number 7 has a key role to play here, especially when combined with other numbers. For example the combination of 768 means “fortune all the way” so these are often the three numbers most likely to be chosen in a game of chance – and by adding just 9 more it would take you to 777, coincidentally the number a highly-regarded, market leading online casino, with their unique, retro-style web design and an endless list of exciting games to choose from you try your luck at 777 online casino.
The number seven symbolizes togetherness in Mandarin due to its unique symbol (七), it is therefore seen as a lucky number for relationships. Furthermore, it is clearly a significant number in other cultures too, seven is a significant number in Judaism due to it representing creation and good fortune among other things. The Bible is awash with teachings that relate to the number seven, there are seven laws of Noah, Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
This emphasis on seven has continued into the modern day era with the ritual of seven wedding blessings, seven circuits performed about a groom, and seven days of mourning after the death of a relative. The fact that seven is also the number of the combination of Yin and Yang along with the elements fire, water, wood, metal and earth also means that it signifies harmony. In Buddhist culture there are also 7 treasures – gold, silver, aquamarine, coral, crystal, ruby and emerald – making it a signifier of winning great wealth.
Of all numbers in China 8 is undoubtedly considered to be the most desirable. One of the reasons for this is that it the word for 8 sounds very similar to the one for “fortune” so the lengths that people will go to in order to introduce the number into their lives are extreme. For example telephone numbers containing several 8s are highly sought-after and recently in Hong Kong the car licence plate carrying the number 28 was auctioned off for $2.3 million.
Most of the other luckiest numbers are even. Just as the word for 8 sounds like “fortune” the word for 7 can sound like “arise” and “life essence” so it is especially auspicious when it comes to relationships and other forms of togetherness.
But for the Chinese there are no such doubts and the unluckiest number is considered to be 4. This means that many buildings don’t have 4th, 14th or 24th floors – though they will always have a 13th!