China being the largest country with the highest population in the world has a great history of itself. Chinese culture is as old as 4,000 to 5,000 years old. With the ancient culture, there are some pretty weird and crazy Chinese superstitions associated with it. It is said that China is one of the most superstitious countries, and some people take these beliefs so seriously that the government has actually had to initiate programs to remind people not to follow them too closely. In this article, we will have a look at the 7 Most Weird and Funny Chinese Superstitions.
What are Superstitions?
Every country has its own culture and unique ways of believing in things. Some people term these ways of believing in things as superstitions. Superstitions are generally the beliefs that people follow thinking if they practice such beliefs something good or bad will happen with them.
Few examples of superstitions around the world are Egyptians have their blue tortoise (protection from evil), Italians have the number 17 (bad luck) and even Americans have the seasonal playoff beard (kind of just looks awesome).
7 Most Weirdest and Funny Chinese Superstitions
Chinese culture is rich in beliefs, customs, and superstitions that vary greatly from those in the West. Let’s take a look at some of these Chinese superstitions, and how they may bring either good luck or bad luck.
- Beards are bad
- Don’t Build a House Facing North or Northwest
- 4 is an Unlucky Number
- 8 is a Lucky Number
- White is an Unlucky colour
- Never Gift a Clock to Someone
- Don’t Cut Long Noodles
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1. Beards are Bad
Have you ever seen a Chinese man with a beard? Most probably not because the Chinese believe that one should have a clean-shaven face. If at least you wish to have a mustache, it must be also well-trimmed. There’s a Chinese superstition if you have facial hair that looks shabby is considered bad luck.
2. Don’t Build a House Facing North or Northwest
In China, there is a strong belief when it comes to designing or buying a family home. The people in China have a superstition that the building should not face the North as it would bring bad fortune to the family. There is a traditional Chinese belief that the north represents darkness, evil and bad luck. It is also seen that the house facing in other directions offer more value and rent when compared to the house facing in the north.
3. 4 is an Unlucky Number
In China, the number 4 is regarded as extremely unlucky because of the pronunciation of number four sounds similar to the Chinese word for death. If you visit China and go inside an elevator and notice that there’s no button for the 4th floor, or the 13th or 14th floor then don’t be surprised. It is not an uncommon thing in China.
4. 8 is a Lucky Number
The people living in China believe that the number 8 is a very lucky number. The reason the Chinese believe the number 8 is so lucky is that the way they say the number ‘eight’ and the pronunciation of the word for ‘prosperity’ in Chinese are very similar. Thinking that number 8 will bring nice fortune, people pay big amounts of cash to get an 8 for their car license plate or their house number.
5. White is an Unlucky Colour
Though white symbolizes brightness, fulfillment, and purity, as it is the color of breast milk, the Chinese culture feels white is an unlucky color. In China, the white color is commonly seen in funerals as people are dressed predominantly in white. The association comes from the ancient tradition of wearing white at funerals, which made white the color of mourning. The people in China consider white is associated with mourning and loss and are therefore considered unlucky.
6. Never Gift a Clock to Someone
China also has few superstitions related to sending and receiving of gifts. When giving gifts in China, it is imperative that you never give someone a clock. This is due to the fact that “giving a clock” (送钟 – sòng zhōng) sounds similar to “bid farewell to someone on their deathbed” (送终 – sòng zhōng). As such, giving someone a clock basically means you’re sending them off to the great beyond.
7. Don’t Cut Long Noodles
The superstitions of Chinese culture doesn’t even stop at the dining table. There are few Chinese Superstitions related to food also. Ever eaten Chinese noodles and noticed why it is as long as your arm? That is because the popular belief uncut noodles in the soup will increase longevity. If noodles are cut it will ‘cut the longevity’.
There are hundreds of other Chinese superstitions that people in China practice. If you think any of the interesting or weird superstition from China is not mentioned then do let us know in the comment section below.