An American Girl in Beijing: Day 13, Unlucky Number

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The Chinese are a very superstitious when it comes to numbers. In my travels, I have noticed that many buildings will eliminate certain floor numbers and when I asked our Jieting (pronounced Jay-teon, at least according to me…) about this she informed me that certain numbers were very unlucky and it was not uncommon to find that floors 4,13 and 14 were “skipped”.

I did some quick research to find out what numbers are lucky or unlucky in Chinese Tradition (http://www.chinese-traditions-and-culture.com/chinese-lucky-numbers.html). I found that the numbers 1 (one love), 3 (life), 8 (money), and 9 (hapiness) are considered some of the luckiest numbers. The numbers 4 (death) and 13 are unlucky. It seams that the number 13 was adopted by the Chinese as an unlucky number from western influence, our very own “Friday the 13th” (although unlucky for most people, I know a few in particular who consider this day to be lucky, rather than unlucky).

Well regardeless of superstition, today was my unlucky day. All of the rich exotic food and travelling finally caught up with me, and I spent the day in the hotel resting and reading… Tomorrow I will go exploring!

-hlj

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