Chinese dwell in superstitions and beliefs and have a huge dependence on numbers in their day to day lives. Numerology plays a vital role in their lives. They lay great emphasis on the use of numbers which, according to their culture, may be considered lucky or unlucky.

The birth date and the name of the person are taken into consideration to calculate the lucky number for an individual and are permanent for him unless the name is changed.

In general, even numbers are considered lucky and odd numbers as unlucky though this is not the rule of the thumb e.g. 2, 6 and 8 are considered lucky but number 4 is considered unlucky; number 9, though an odd number is gloriously among the lucky numbers.

A Chinese life style gives too much importance to these numbers, always being on the lookout for lucky numbers for their benefits and unlucky numbers to avoid any mishap in their lives. According to them, a number may not be absolutely lucky or unlucky but it gives them an indication as to their effect. These numbers are also applied to I- Ching and to Feng shui for furniture and buildings.

Chinese Unlucky Number 1

This number signifies loneliness and therefore is considered inauspicious.

Chinese Unlucky Number 4

This number is a dreaded number in Chinese superstition and a very unlucky number. This is because it is almost homophonous with the Chinese word 'si' which means 'death'. Therefore, numbered items in China such as phone numbers, car license numbers and room numbers omit number 4 in them. Similarly numbered products from China omit number 4 in them e.g. Canon PowerShot G series has G5 after G3, Nokia mobile phones series do not have number 4 and high rise buildings and hotels omit number 4 in numbering their floors; therefore, a building declaring 50 floors may only have 35 floors.

Chinese Unlucky Number 5

This number is associated with 'not' which clearly indicates 'not possible' or 'not prosperous', that is anything negative and therefore it is considered unlucky. It can be combined with another unlucky to bring a lucky effect e.g. if combined with 4 to make it 54, it would mean 'no/not death' but if used together with a lucky number such as in 528, it would mean 'no good fortune for me'.

Chinese Unlucky Number 7

This number is thought to be ghostly and so unlucky. It means abandonment and anger, even death. The seventh month of the Chinese calendar is termed 'the Ghost Month'. This is according to their belief that in the seventh month the spirits and ghosts are released from hell to visit the earthly realm. Chinese do not consider this number to be absolutely unlucky since their Valentine's Day falls on July 7. Some even consider it as a neutral number.

Chinese Unlucky Number 13

Though it is considered to be a lucky number, some enumerate it among the unlucky numbers because 1+3 adds up to 4.

Chinese Unlucky Number 14

Number 14 is considered to be the worst number among all the unlucky numbers. The '1' in the number 14 does not represent loneliness; instead it means 'guaranteed'. Therefore, the number would interpret 'guaranteed death'. Though it is pronounced as 'shi si' it means to say 'ten die'; it is also called 'yi si' or 'yao si' which would mean to say 'want to die' In Cantonese, this number is called 'sap ser' which sounds like the words meaning 'certainly die' and in Chiu Chow, number 4 is pronounced differently to mean 'yes' or 'see'. For the different meanings emerging from different regions of China, the number 14 is considered neutral by a few.