Eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture - that's why the Olympic Games in Beijing are scheduled to begin today - yep, 8-8-08 - at 8:08:08 p.m. This was no coincidence. The lucky number eight means wealth and prosperity to Asians who observe Chinese numerology. "In China, the pronunciation of the word eight sounds like the phrase for great fortune," said Han-Chia Li, an instructor of Chinese at the University of Mississippi. They believe it would be auspicious or "marked by success; prosperous" - even more than "very special" - and just what they want in Olympic games!Fred went to China to study. The tiny photo is him dressed up for a Chinese drama, complete with makeup. I need to get a better copy. Below he is wearing one of the outfits specially crafted for him - extra large - few Chinese are tall and Fred is 6ft.4in. Emma is wearing her special dress he brought home for her.
In China you also have to pay extra to have the number 8 in your phone number or license plate. In addition, home and business owners like to have the number 8 in their civic address. If you turn the number eight 90 degrees horizontally, it becomes “infinity” in math or “eternity” philosophy. In Chinese Astrology, perfect balance is considered the ideal. You can slice the number 8 in half vertically or horizontally, and both halves mirror themselves perfectly. Again, perfect symmetry lends itself to perfect balance.
Speaking of the Chinese - apparently this lucky day is also desirable for tying the knot. A reported record 9,000 Chinese couples plan to wed on this day. In the United States, the gift registry site WeddingChannel.com has seen a 213 percent increase in weddings for Aug. 8, 2008, compared with the same Friday last year on Aug. 10, said Summer Krecke, the deputy editor.
"The word for eight in Chinese (Pinyin: bā) sounds similar to the word which means "prosper" or "wealth". In regional dialects the words for "eight" and "fortune" are also similar, eg Cantonese "baat" and "faat".
There is also a resemblance between two digits, "88", and the shuang xi ('double joy'), a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters 喜 (xi, 'joy', 'happiness').
Telephone number 8888-8888 was sold for USD$270,723 in Chengdu, China."
Of course in the U.S.A. sevens are considered more lucky and last year showed all the signs - even locally with 50 couples marrying in the Bountiful Temple on 7/7/07 - not so unusual a number for the Salt Lake Temple but a lot for Bountiful.
If prosperity is in the picture, eight would definitely be enticing for me. We do have a few more interesting dates still to come - 09/09/09, 10/10/10, 11/11/11, and 12/12/12 so there's still hope for a memorable wedding anniversary. These are a few of the joys of the new millenium.
The number eight also pops up regularly in Hollywood: 8 mm is a standard film format that doubles to 16 mm (the digits in 35 mm, not surprisingly, add up to 8). Many film titles also use the number 8.
Here's a fun family with eight children (3 sets of twins!) from OregonLive.comTrips the grocery store take all day. The family car is a 12-passenger van. The kids are home-schooled. And everyone sits down every day to the dinner table. Meet Mark and Jackie O-Neill and their family.
The Dalles Chronicle
Jackie gave birth to Jordan when she was 21, and then kept going, giving birth to Taylor and Kendall, both now 13; Jack, 11; Bailey and Sydney, both 9; and finally to Rachel and John, both 15 months. That tallies up to eight children, including three sets of twins. "People always ask if we're done [yes], and if we're Catholic or Morman [No]," says Jackie.
Here's another Christian family, not related to me (though I'd gladly claim this cute family of eight children). They also had a stillborn daughter and have had another baby girl this year - since this picture was taken. This brings the total to eight living daughters - and just one son. They can be found at http://inashoe.com. I appreciate the family letting me share this on my blog. Here's wishing you all the prosperity, wealth (not just in money) and happiness you seek!