Friday, August 8, 2008

08-08-08: Eight and Fate

Today is 08/08/08. Do you have anything planned? This date is not only pretty catchy, it's one of the luckiest days ever in some cultures! For Chinese the number 8 is considered lucky just like the number 7 is considered lucky, over here in the West. So, it should come as no surprise that the Beijing Olympics begin 08/08/08, at 08:08 pm! Did you know that in China you have to pay extra to have the number 8 in your phone number or license plate?

Why is 8 so lucky to the Chinese people? The main reason has to do with the pronunciation of the word for the number 8 in China. It is pronounced "ba" and sounds like the word for prosperity which is pronounced "fa". Another reason why the number 8 could be considered lucky is because it is a perfect symmetrical shape. You can cut the number 8 in half vertically or horizontally, and both halves mirror themselves perfectly. Perfect symmetry lends itself to perfect balance. In chinese astrology, perfect balance is considered the ideal.

08/08/08 is also the perfect day to get married. It's predicted that today is going to be a record setting day for weddings, even surpassing the number of weddings on 07/07/07. August is always a popular month for weddings and when the numeral “8″ is turned on its side, it becomes the symbol for infinity — a fitting motif to represent the beginning of a marriage!

But, eight can also be unlucky, at least over here in the US. In a pool game, the player loses if he shoots the eight ball into the pocket. Hence, the phrase 'be behind the eightball' (in trouble). In the Army, this number has connections with the expression 'Section 8' which was a section of provisions specifying the reasons for discharge from military service. 'Section 8' defined the reasons for discharge for reasons of mental, psychiatric deficiencies and therefore 'Section 8' figuratively means a 'psycho', a 'moron'.

Wow -- 08/08/08!

And you thought today was just Friday....


Anonymous said...

This is John, wiling away in the wilds of industrial Salt Lake County. Hey, this is a fun article.

Can I say "8 it great" and slip it past the Pun Filters?


Rebekah said...

Didn't know about the greatness of eight! This was fun to learn about!