8 Chinese Superstitions and Beliefs – Decode China
– [Man] Scene one, take one. Action! – I think you’re taking too long. – No, you started first one. – No no no, you say. – Do I say it? (beep) – Hey guys, whatcha guys up to? – Whoa, whoa, whoa. You don’t touch Chinese
people’s (beep) chest. (laughing) (inhaling loudly) (exhaling loudly) – I don’t know, Jennie, I’ve
got some pretty good cards. I think you’re gonna lose. – Hey guys, whatcha guys up to? – Whoa, whoa, whoa, you don’t touch Chinese people’s shoulders when they’re gambling. (inhaling loudly) (easygoing music) Chinese superstitions and beliefs. We Chinese have so many superstitions. Today, I’m gonna share with
you eight, lucky eight, and that’s the very first
one, the number eight. Now, in Chinese, eights represent fortune, and prosperity, and good luck. And that’s why you can see that we have, we like the eight number. We have our license plates
sometimes, right, with the eight. – Phone number. – And phone numbers. We like eight.
– House numbers. – House numbers, yes. – Any number.
– Any numbers. And you want– – Birthday. – Birthday, and sometimes even multiple, like double eight, or even triple eight. Do we also like the six,
too, right, six eight? – Mm-hm. – Is that right? – Yes.
– Six and eight? – Yes. – What about three eight? – No, three is not gonna work.
– Six. What does six represent? – Six is comings. Coming. – Oh, it’s coming, okay. – Yeah, so like usually Chinese people do, on their license plate,
they do one six eight, so they will keep making
fortune all the time. – [Victoria] Continuous fortune. – Continuous, so you can see how much Chinese likes money, right? – Never enough. – Not just fortune, but continuous
non-stop fortune, right? But also, I think six also
symbolize ongoing, too, like forever, right? So, six six, so that’s also, too. I know you have some props here, that you can share with the audience here. The first one. – First one, dada,
Victoria’s license plate. – There you go, right. So, makes it– – Do you really like this, Vic? – Now, now, Vic, did you
pick this on purpose, or it was just by accident? – You know what? – The one six eight. – Yeah, living in Vancouver,
it’s extremely hard to get a license plate that has an eight. – Yes, everybody wants an eight. – Yeah, so here’s what I did. I ride a motorcycle. So motorcycles, less common, right? So, I went to the right insurance
place, and then I saw this and right away I’m like.
– Boom. – “This is the one.” I pulled it out of the box,
and they’re like, “You sure?” I’m like, “I am sure this is what I want.” – Oh I like that. I like that. And you can also see
that the one six eight. Now also, Chinese, we
don’t like the number four. We do not like number four. Now, what does four mean? – Death. – Four means death. – It means death. It means death. So, sometimes you see that maybe in certain apartment buildings, they try to avoid a floor, fourth floor, or even 14th floor. – [Jennie] So bad. – So bad, right? Our cell phone? Yeah, we don’t like four either. – It’s not, yeah.
– House number. – Trying to, no.
– We try to avoid it. We try to avoid it. So developers, actually,
they don’t even use four. Now, I know some people
from mainland China, they also don’t like 18. – Mm-hm. – Now, although eight, it has the word eight
in it, you would think, “Oh, that’s fortune,” but in Chinese, we believe the 18th which is the hell, right?
– Yes. – Suppose if you do
something very, very bad, you go to hell. It’s in the minus 18th floor. – [Victoria] 18th level, yeah. – [Dan] Yeah, yeah, 18th floor. – [Victoria] That’s where hell is. – Yeah, near the core of the Earth, that’s again, superstition, right? That’s what it is. So, don’t think, “Oh 18, that’s good.” No, not 100%, depends
on what they believe. So, to be safe, eighth floor is good. 20th floor is good. 30th floor is good, right? Four is definitely no good, right? So, that’s the second one. Now, the third one that
we have is the cat. This is actually from Japan, right? – Hello. – From Japan, and it also
represents good fortune. It represents good luck, and
you can see the little arm, like that, right? And I believe that the left arm is for, symbolize prosperity, right?
– Right. – And the right arm, it symbolize health. Good health. So, Chinese is usually is money. It’s always money. I don’t know why it is. It is always money. – And then you’re gonna put
this next to the cashier. – Yeah, and then you see somebody walk into a Chinese restaurant, right? Cashier, they attract prosperity, right? So, they have this moving all the time. – Many, many retail spaces use this cat. So, no matter if it’s a
restaurant, or a clothing store. – Yeah, you see that a lot. – Doesn’t matter what it is. – You see. – You’ll walk in the
door, you see the cat. The cat greets you. – Yeah, the owner probably
Chinese, Asian, or Japanese. Now sometimes, I even seen
they have multiple ones. They have like a massive, big fortune cat, and then a middle, medium size one, and then one smaller one. It tells you how, again, how
much they like money, right? – Yes. – So, that’s the third
one, the fortune cat. Now, the fourth superstition
is little bit more interesting. It has to do with gifting. When you are buying a gift, what you don’t want to do is, you don’t want to buy
Chinese a clock as a gift, because it symbolize, again, death. That means it’s, well you wish the person
to die, or pass away, or something like that. – The homophone to
saying, “Gifting a clock,” sounds exactly like, “Sending you to your deathbed,” basically. – Yeah, that’s what it means. – So, doesn’t sound great. – Yeah, so buy your own clock. You want a clock, buy your own clock. You don’t want this as a gift. So, that’s a clock. And then the next one that we have– – The umbrella. – The umbrella. This is little bit interesting. Now, for the umbrella one,
that in Chinese we believe you don’t want to open up your umbrella, and I’m just gonna do it. I’m gonna break the rule
just a bit, just to show you. So, that. (television static crackling) But, we don’t want to attract
bad spirit and bad luck. Some bad things are gonna happen. (television static crackling) As you can see they feel
almost a little bit unease. Right, you open up the umbrella indoor. We do not do that. Now, why don’t we do that? – Well, the rumor is that
you bring spirits and ghosts into the house with you. They kind of hide under the umbrella and they come in with you. – With you. So it brings, bad luck, or ghost spirit, or that kind of thing.
– Mm-hm. – So yeah, we don’t do that. Don’t open up the umbrella indoor. Do not open umbrella in
other people’s house indoor. (laughing) That’s a big no-no, huge, big no-no. And then another superstition, which also has to do with gifting, is you also don’t want to give people a pair of shoes. Now, I know your friend gave
you a pair of shoes, right? – Yes.
– Yes, so. – And then she asked– – So, why don’t we do that, though? What does that mean? – Well, when she gave me a pair of shoes, and then she asked me for a dollar, I was like, “What do you mean?
I thought this was a gift.” She’s like, “No, no, no, no,
you don’t give your best friend “or family a pair of shoes. “That means they gonna take those shoes, “and run away from you.” – So it’s again, almost like
you want to send them away. – Separate. – They gonna run away. You’re gonna separate with them. You don’t want to do that. Now, if they give you a dollar back, it means that they are kind of buying it. – Buy it. – Buy it.
– Yeah, exactly. So, it’s superstition, right? Again, you give the gift, it’s okay, but you want a dollar back. So, you want them to
stay and to be with you, just to maintain that
good relationship, right? – Okay. – The last one I believe, we
are talking about sharing pear, or not sharing pear as a fruit. – It’s just a fruit. – Yes, because the name
of the fruit in Chinese, is homophone to “separating.” – [Dan] Separation. – Or “splitting up.” Separation. So, when you cut up pears,
you don’t want to share, because that symbolizes,
“Oh, we’re going to separate “or divorce or just split up,” basically. – Not see each other again. – Yeah, so it’s not a good thing to say. It’s just bad luck, or
Chinese superstition. – And the last one,
the last superstition– – Which make it lucky eight. – Lucky eight. – We have to stay with eight. – We have to stay. Yeah, ’cause we have seven, so we just gotta come up with one more. At first, I thought of seven, but I come up with one more now. So, the last superstition is… – Don’t put your chopsticks in your rice. – Don’t put your chopstick in the rice. So that, again, symbolize what? – So, when our ancestors pass away, usually what people do is they will have their
photo inside the house. They’ll have a bowl of rice with three, three sticks of incense
where they burn the incense to kind of pay respect. Give them a spot inside the home, right? So, you don’t want to do
that with your chopsticks, because it looks similar. Like visually, it looks
similar to you putting incense onto your bowl of rice. So, if you’re eating with Chinese people, and all of a sudden you do that, they’re like, “Whoa, what are you doing? “You trying to pay respect to someone “who’s passed away right now?” So it’s again, kind of
a bad luck thing to do. You would people a little bit off. So certainly, that’s not
something that we want to do. – And those are the eight Chinese
superstitions and beliefs. Now, you might think,
“Oh, it’s a bit to much. “Why are they so difficult?” It’s not that, it’s
just like we want to do everything we could. As you can see, it’s about attracting success,
prosperity, good health. Also through that, you can
learn a little bit about how important family values, right, all the relationships are to Chinese. It’s very much about relationship, too. So, comment below, you know
of any other superstitions that are kind of interesting
that we may not know. We can cover that in the
future video as well, but those are eight basic ones. Just be aware the dos and don’ts, and when you’re gifting people, when you’re communicating
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