What Symbols Are Traditionally Considered Lucky In China? - Faze (2023)

What Symbols Are Traditionally Considered Lucky In China? - Faze (1)

Each culture has its own unique icons that symbolize good luck. For the Irish, this is a four-leaf clover. In most Western countries, horseshoes are believed to bring luck. Symbols that symbolize good luck exist all over the world, and this includes Chinese culture. It is even possible to say that it is one of the richest cultures in terms of good luck symbols. The Chinese believe that many things bring luck, from colors to numbers, animals to fruits. Below, you can find detailed information about these symbols.

Animals as Good Luck Symbols

There are many animals that the Chinese believe to bring luck. As you can imagine, the dragon comes first. The Chinese people believe that turtles and some fish also bring luck, but these are just “variants” of dragons. The dragon is a mythological being that can take any shape it wants and has been used by the Chinese Emperors for thousands of years as a symbol of power.

It is believed that common people cannot see the dragons, and if any of the people saw a dragon, it was not of their own free will; the dragon chose to show itself. Therefore, seeing a dragon is believed to bring luck to that person. This is such an old belief that it has become an integral part of Chinese culture and has been used even in commercial life. This is why dragons are used in Chinese-themed casino games too (for example, 5 Dragons free pokies). However, there are other animals that the Chinese regard as symbols of luck. We can list them as follows:


Bats are malevolent creatures associated with vampires in Western cultures. In Chinese culture, they symbolize wealth and good fortune. They even think that seeing five bats side by side is a substitute for the ‘Five Blessings’ (long life, wealth, health, love of virtue, peaceful death).


Elephants symbolize luck and loyalty in almost all Asian countries. In Indian mythology, they are also thought to symbolize intelligence, and indeed one of the Hindu gods (Lord Ganesha) has an elephant head.

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These birds, which mean bad luck in Western cultures, are very popular in Chinese culture. It is believed that those who see magpie will have good luck. In fact, the Chinese version of the word “magpie” also means happiness.


In Chinese, “fish” and “surplus” are pronounced the same, and almost all kinds of fish are considered symbols of wealth. But koi fish also means luck.. They can live for a very long time and stand out with their bright colors.

Numbers as Good Luck Symbols

What Symbols Are Traditionally Considered Lucky In China? - Faze (2)

The belief that some numbers bring luck can be seen in almost every culture in the world. The Chinese, on the other hand, believe that many numbers bring luck. The biggest reason for this is the pronunciation of the words. The pronunciation of many numbers in Chinese resembles the pronunciation of the words “luck” and “wealth.” For the same reason, some numbers are believed to be unlucky because they are pronounced like “bad things.”

Almost all numbers have their meanings. It is even possible to say that there is a superstition on this subject. You can see some examples below.

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Number 2

The Chinese believe that all things double mean good luck, so 2 is an important number. Even when giving gifts on important days, at least two gifts are given in order not to break the harmony. It is possible to see this in decorations too: If you visit the shops during the Chinese New Year, you will see that two banners are hung at the entrance to create asymmetry. Even in commercials, slogans are repeated twice.

Number 3

The pronunciation of this number is almost the same as the pronunciation of the word “life”. It is also believed that in Buddhism, the number 3 symbolizes the “Three Jewels.” Therefore, we can say that 3 is considered a lucky number.

Number 6

In Western cultures, this number is associated with the devil, and even 666 is seen as “the devil’s number.” The Chinese believe the opposite: The number 6 is considered auspicious in this country, and it is thought that the more it is repeated, the more its effect will increase. In other words, 666 is seen as an extremely lucky number in China. As a matter of fact, it is possible to see this number on the signs of many businesses.

Number 8

This is the luckiest number in Chinese culture. It is believed to bring more luck if it is repeated more than once. For example, 88 means “double chance.” This belief is so strong that the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008 started at 8:08 PM. For the same reason, the number of flights of Chinese airlines almost always includes combinations of the number 8.

Number 9

This number is pronounced the same as “infinity” and is, therefore, considered to be auspicious. 9 is officially the Chinese Emperor’s numeral. As a matter of fact, there are 9.999 rooms in the Imperial Palace for this reason. If you see the Emperor’s robe in a museum, watch out for the dragons on it: You will see exactly 9 dragons. There are unlucky numbers as well as lucky numbers. The Chinese believe that certain numbers should be avoided because they bring bad luck.

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Number 4

This number is pronounced almost the same as “death.” It is the equivalent of number 13 in Western cultures. We can say that there is a serious superstition in this regard. Most elevators in China do not have the number 4. Everyone avoids using 4 digits in addresses, phone numbers, and even license plates. For this reason, the prices of houses with number 4 are much lower than others. Even giving anything to someone that includes 4 means the same as a death threat.

Number 7

This is an interesting number because it is believed to be both lucky and unlucky. 7 is a lucky number for lovers, as Valentine’s Day in China is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh
month. However, the seventh month is also considered the month of ghosts and spirits are believed to roam the earth. So this is both a lucky and an unlucky number.

Colors as Good Luck Symbols

What Symbols Are Traditionally Considered Lucky In China? - Faze (3)

Colors are also of great importance in Chinese culture in terms of luck and bad luck. There is a reason why red, yellow, and green are always used in traditional celebrations. These are considered auspicious colors in Chinese culture. Likewise, certain colors are believed to bring bad luck. We give some examples below.


This color represents happiness, success, and luck. This is why it is always used at festivals and weddings. Almost every store in China hangs something in red at its entrance. Sometimes it’s a lantern and sometimes ribbons. That’s also why gifts given during the Chinese New Year are put in red envelopes.

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This color is synonymous with the Emperor. Indeed, the first Chinese Emperor is named the “Yellow Emperor”. It is possible to see this color in almost all royal palaces. The robes of the emperors are almost always yellow. If you visit the Forbidden City, look at the rooftops. You will see they are all yellow.


Green is considered auspicious because it means money and wealth. For this reason, banks and restaurants always use green color in their logos and signs. Since this color also means purity and cleanliness, it is possible to see it on the packaging of agricultural products too.

There are also some colors that are considered ominous. For example, white symbolizes death in Chinese culture, and everyone wears white for funerals. Therefore, it is difficult to see this color in daily life. We can say that the black color is also not popular because it means the same as “underground.” In other words, two basic colors that are opposite to each other (white and black) are considered ominous in Chinese culture.

Other Symbols

There are also some strange symbols of good luck. Pumpkin is seen as a symbol of luck, especially in rural China, as it is pronounced the same as the word “wealth.” For this reason, it is possible to see
pumpkin sculptures in many houses and restaurants.

Not only Chinese but also Western people believe that statues known as “Laughing Buddha” bring luck. This statue represents the celestial Buddha named Pu-Tai, and you can see them almost everywhere. They are used not only in temples but also in homes.

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Bamboo and pine trees are also auspicious figures for their continuity. Bamboo, in particular, has been seen as the representative of traditional Chinese values ​​for thousands of years.

In short, the Chinese, like other cultures, accept many things as symbols of good luck and stay away from some things on the grounds that they bring bad luck. But the differences between cultures are surprising. For example, the fact that the number 666 has completely different meanings in Western and Chinese cultures shows how culture affects the way we perceive our environment.

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What are the traditional Chinese symbols for luck? ›

The character Fú ( 福, Unicode U+798F) meaning "fortune" or "good luck" is represented both as a Chinese ideograph and, at times, pictorially, in one of its homophonous forms.

What five things are considered lucky in Chinese culture? ›

Chinese culture: five blessings, also known as the "Five Happiness" or "Five Good Fortunes", which refer to longevity, wealth, health and composure, love of virtue, and the desire to die a natural death in old age (or timely death).

What is the symbol for luck? ›

Four-Leaf Clover

Four-leafed clovers are one of the most cherished good luck symbols. The story of luck behind them originated in Ireland and they are very hard to find. The four sides of the clover represent love, luck, hope, and faith.

What is the traditional symbol of China? ›

The dragon is not only prevalent in China, but also very popular among Chinese living abroad; it has become the symbol of China and Chinese culture.

What is the Chinese symbol for luck and happiness? ›

The character fú 福, glossed “happiness,” “blessings,” “felicity,” or “good luck,” appears over and over as a decorative motif. It is commonly woven into cloth, sometimes in as many as a hundred different writings.

What are the four symbols of China? ›

The Azure Dragon is named Meng Zhang (孟章), the Vermilion Bird is called Ling Guang (陵光), the White Tiger Jian Bing (監兵), and the Black Tortoise Zhi Ming (執明).

What object is considered lucky? ›

While in most of the world, only the four-leafed clover is considered lucky, in Ireland all Irish Shamrocks are. Horseshoes are considered lucky when turned upwards but unlucky when turned downwards, although some people believe the opposite.

What symbols are important in Chinese culture? ›

The dragon is the most powerful symbol in Chinese culture with supernatural powers and the ability to control cosmic forces. Very much a sacred imperial symbol, it represents the Emperor (just as the phoenix represents the Empress).

What are lucky examples? ›

I feel lucky to be alive. I count myself lucky to know you. “I managed to get a ticket!” “Lucky you! They were all sold out by the time I got there.”

What are the four types of luck? ›

The four kinds of luck
  • 01 Lucky by fate (Blind luck)
  • 02 Luck from hustling (Motion)
  • 03 Luck from preparation (Personal sensory receptivity)
  • 04 Luck from your unique character (personal motor behavior)
Aug 29, 2020

What symbols are in lucky charms? ›

Inspired by circus peanuts

Lucky Charms cereal debuted in 1964 with oat pieces in shapes of bells, fish, arrowheads, clovers and X's and green clovers, pink hearts, orange stars and yellow moons marshmallows. The cereal was created by product developer John Holahan.

What is the symbol for good luck and protection? ›

Horseshoe (United States)

It is not only in the United States where the horseshoe is a common symbol for good luck. You can find the horseshoe in Egyptian iconography and Islamic art. For the superstitious, hanging a horseshoe over your main door will bring good luck and protection to your home.

What are traditional symbols? ›

meanings of traditional and symbol

following or belonging to the customs or ways of behaving that have continued in a group of people or society for a long time ... See more at traditional. symbol.

What are the 2 symbols of China? ›

Symbols of the People's Republic of China
National animalGiant panda
Chinese dragon
National birdRed-crowned crane
Golden pheasant (unofficial)
18 more rows

How many traditional Chinese symbols are there? ›

According to the Taiwan Ministry of Education's 2004 Dictionary of Chinese Character Variants (異體字字典, Yìtǐzì zìdiǎn) the figure is 106,230!! However, most modern-day dictionaries commonly have around 20,000 characters.

What is the Chinese symbol for good? ›

"Good" is 好 (hǎo) in Chinese. Although that is a common translation of 好, this Chinese character is also used in a variety of ​manners and meanings.

What color symbolizes joy and luck in China? ›

Red - Fire. Red is a popular color in Chinese culture, symbolizing luck, joy, and happiness.

What is the symbol of long life and good luck in China? ›

The Shou symbol is usually found on objects such as textiles, furniture, ceramics and jewelry. The three symbols, and the most important concepts in Chinese culture are the symbols of Fu, Lu and Shou. Each of these as individual symbols represent important aspects of life, such as prosperity, luck and longevity.

Why is the number 4 lucky in China? ›

While in the musical scale, Four is pronounced Fa, the same sound with 发 (fortune) in Chinese. Therefore some people regard 4 as the propitious and lucky number in this case and there is an old saying in Chinese - 四季发财 (be wealthy all the year round).

Is 4 lucky or unlucky in China? ›

But the number four is considered unlucky because it sounds a lot like the word for “death,” and as a result Chinese buildings often lack a fourth floor (just as American buildings sometimes skip the 13th). Likewise, Chinese drivers avoid license plates ending in four.

What are Chinese symbols called? ›

Chinese characters, 漢字 (simplified 汉字), are known by many names: “Sinograms” (from the Greek name of China), “Hànzì” (from Mandarin), “Hanja” (from Korean 한자), and “Kanji” (from Japanese かんじ). Whatever you prefer to call them, they are the most complex writing system in use today.

What animal symbolizes good luck? ›

Bulls are known for bringing luck to a variety of cultures. Greek, Celtic, Egyptian and East Indian people all see the animal as a powerful force. The bull is said to be a sign of positive things from good health to wealth. The Greeks looked upon the bull as a master of love and fertility.

What is the luckiest charm of all? ›

  • The Four-Leaf Clover: Ireland. This symbol has origins of biblical proportion: Eve reportedly plucked one as she and Adam were kicked out of Eden. ...
  • The Lucky Cat: China and Japan. ...
  • The Horseshoe: Ireland. ...
  • The White Elephant: Thailand. ...
  • The Wishbone: United States.

Why is 7 a lucky? ›

In the Bible, scholars claim that God created the world in six days and used the seventh day to rest. Because of this, the number seven is used to illustrate an idea of completeness throughout the Bible. In both Islam and Judaism, there are seven heavens.

What is the most important symbol of culture? ›

Perhaps the most powerful of all human symbols is language—a system of verbal and sometimes written representations that are culturally specific and convey meaning about the world.

What is the symbol for good luck and eternity in Chinese culture? ›

Eternal Knot

The most well known is the eternal (or endless) knot. In Buddhism, this motif is one of the eight auspicious symbols representing eternal compassion and wisdom. In China, this symbol represents good luck, long life, and harmony.

What is being lucky? ›

The ability to maximize chance opportunities. Listening to your gut and trusting your instincts. Expecting to be lucky, or maintaining a positive outlook. The wherewithal to turn unlucky situations around.

What does lucky enough mean? ›

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishlucky/unfortunate etc enough to be/do somethinglucky/unfortunate etc enough to be/do somethingused to say that someone is lucky or unlucky that something happens to them They were unlucky enough to be caught in the storm.

What are ways to get lucky? ›

9 Ways to Increase Your Luck
  • Believe That You're Lucky. ...
  • Be Clear About Your Goals and Voice them. ...
  • Be Open to Opportunities. ...
  • Surround Yourself With The Right People. ...
  • Increase your Karma score. ...
  • Practice Gratitude. ...
  • Relax. ...
  • Be Proactive.
May 2, 2018

Are there different types of luck? ›

There are the four kinds of luck: Good luck, the random kind that you cannot influence. Good luck, the kind you can influence or help create. Bad luck, the random kind you cannot influence. Bad luck, the kind you create.

How many types of luck do we have? ›

James H. Austin wrote Chase, Chance, and Creativity: The Lucky Art of Novelty. In his book, the neurologist —and Zen Buddhist— explained the roles of luck, chance, and serendipity in medical research, and outlines what we know today as the four kinds of luck.

What is pure luck? ›

meanings of pure and luck

the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts ...

What were the 4 original Lucky Charms? ›

Of the original marshmallows — green clovers, pink hearts, orange stars and yellow moons — only the pink hearts have remained. Cereal lovers have had to say goodbye to blue diamonds, purple horseshoes, red balloons and several other marshmallows over the years.

What are 7 Lucky Charms? ›

Feeling lucky? 7 historic good luck charms explained
  • Four-leaf clover. According to legend, the luck of the four-leaf clover goes back to Eve, who supposedly carried one out of the Garden of Eden. ...
  • Horseshoe. ...
  • Pocket lighter. ...
  • Rabbit's foot. ...
  • The color green. ...
  • The number seven. ...
  • Penny.
Mar 9, 2016

What are the 5 charms of Lucky Charms? ›

Hearts, Stars, and Horseshoes, Clovers and Blue Moons, Pots of Gold and Rainbows, and Tasty Red Balloons!”

What is the symbol of luck and prosperity? ›

The four-leaf clover is an ancient Irish symbol of Luck that stems from folklore. Legend says that the Celtics believed that the clover would help them see fairies and avoid fairy tricks. The four-leaf clovers are said to represent hope, faith, love, and luck.

What symbol represents protection in Chinese culture? ›

Tiger, as an ancient Chinese animal symbol is an emblem of dignity, ferocity, sternness, courage, and by itself is Yin energy. Also a symbol of protection, the image of a tiger is often seen on clothing or in the home to ward off harm any semblance of harm and assure safekeeping.

What are the Chinese symbols for protection? ›

Chinese symbol: 護, 护, to care, protect; to guard, defend.

What are the 4 types of symbols? ›

  • pictogram.
  • ideogram.
  • icon.
  • rebus.
  • phonogram.
  • typogram.
  • logo (trade mark)

What are the 3 types of symbols? ›

Symbols can carry symbolic value in three primary forms: Ideological, comparative, and isomorphic. Ideological symbols such as religious and state symbols convey complex sets of beliefs and ideas that indicate "the right thing to do".

Why is Chinese two lucky? ›

2 (两), pronounced er or liang, is considered to be lucky as the Chinese believe that all good things come in pairs. This is observed in repeated characters in some brand names or gifts.

What's the Chinese symbol for love? ›

The Chinese character for "love" or "to love" is in traditional Chinese, but it can also be written as 爱 in simplified Chinese.

What is the easiest Chinese symbol? ›

Here's a list of some of the simplest characters in the Chinese language:
  • 八 (bā) – “eight”
  • 九 (jiǔ) – “nine”
  • 十 (shí) – “ten”
  • 月 (yuè) – “month”
  • 大 (dà) – “big”
  • 水 (shuǐ) – “water”
  • 人 (rén) – “people” or “person”
  • 口 (kǒu) – “mouth”

How old are some examples of Chinese symbols? ›

Chinese characters, also known as Hanzi (漢字) are one of the earliest forms of written language in the world, dating back approximately five thousand years.

What is the 4 blessings symbol? ›

These Taoist symbols are very common in Chinese tradition. Black and white illustrations of the "four blessings", representing the propitious blessings of happiness (fú 福),professional success or prosperity (lù 禄), longevity (shòu 寿), and wealth (cái 財). These Taoist symbols are very common in Chinese tradition.

What are Chinese good luck charms? ›

Chinese numismatic "good luck charms" or "auspicious charms" are inscribed with various Chinese characters representing good luck and prosperity. There was popular belief in their strong effect and they were traditionally used in an effort to scare away evil and protect families.

What is the feng shui symbol for good luck? ›

The turtle is one of the strongest symbols of Feng Shui protection. As a celestial animal, this means the turtle has been considered one of the original guardian animals of good feng shui energy. A black turtle has been regarded as one of the most powerful Feng Shui symbols.

What is the most powerful symbol in China? ›

The dragon is the most powerful symbol in Chinese culture with supernatural powers and the ability to control cosmic forces. Very much a sacred imperial symbol, it represents the Emperor (just as the phoenix represents the Empress).

What are the 6 symbols of the Holy Spirit? ›

The symbols of the Holy Spirit are: Dove, Fire, Oil, Wind and Water. The Dove: This can be seen in the description of the baptism of Christ (Matt.

What is the symbol of praying? ›

Lifted hands: A symbolic posture of prayer and worship.

What are the 8 lucky signs? ›

The eight auspicious signs are the umbrella, yellow fish, vase, lotus, white conch shell, glorious peu,1 banner and Dharma chakra.

What do Asians use for good luck? ›

The Lucky Money Cat (Maneki Neko) is an extremely popular belief both in Japanese and Chinese cultures. A doll in the form of a seated cat with a raised and beckoning front paw, these apparently waving cats are calling wealth and prosperity to the home or business they are placed within.

What object is good luck? ›

Four-leaf clovers: An ancient Irish symbol of luck, the Celts believed that a four-leaf clover could help them see fairies and avoid their mischief, who were believed to be a source of bad luck. The four leaves were believed to have mystical powers representing faith, hope, love, and luck.

Is the number 1 lucky in China? ›

The number 1 (一, pinyin: yī; Cantonese Yale: yāt) is neither auspicious nor inauspicious. It is a number given to winners to indicate the first place. But it can also symbolize loneliness or being single. For example: November 11 is the Singles' Day in China, as the date has four '1' which stand for singles.

What is the important symbolism in Chinese culture? ›

Symbolism representing luck, prosperity, long life, happiness, and wealth are all important aspects in Chinese culture. Symbols representing these virtues are often seen in everyday life and appear during holidays and festivals.


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