Did you feel any different when you got out of bed this morning? According to many, today is the day when everything will go swimmingly – marriages, businesses and any other projects started today are destined to succeed. Why? Because it’s August 8th – the eighth day of the eighth month.
Why is the number 8 fortuitous? The main reason is Chinese culture. You see, just as many here in the West regard the number 7 as lucky, in China it’s the number 8 – only much, much more so. That’s because the Mandarin word for 8 is ba which sounds almost identical to their word for fortune or wealth, fa (in Chinese pronunciation at least!).
The number 8 is so esteemed in Chinese culture that, when they hosted the Beijing Olympics, the opening ceremony began at 8:08 on 8/8/08 – that’s five 8s together (shame they couldn’t get 8 of them). How lucky is that? Actually, quite lucky – China topped the medals table, getting almost as many golds as 2nd placed USA and 3rd placed Russia combined.
And it-s not just the Chinese who think that the number 8 is lucky. To numerologists the number represents perfection, eternity, balance and rebirth. In fact, some people have changed their names in order to make 8 their numerological number!
If the number 8 really is lucky, then you’d expect some good things to have happened on August 8th in history. Let’s find out if that theory stands up…
August 8th was certainly a good day for boxer Chris Eubank, tennis-player Roger Federer and royal Princess Beatrice – they were all born on that date.
Not so lucky for Roman Emperor Trajan and King Kong actress Fay Wray – they both died on August 8th.
It was a good day for Britain in 1503 when King James IV of Scotland married English King Henry VII’s daughter, Margaret Tudor – an event which would ultimately unite the two countries.
Not such a good day in 1966, when the Great Train Robbery took place – not very ‘great’ for the victims.
Looking through the annals of history it seems that August 8th is a day just like any other – good for some people, bad for others. If you ask me, numerology and Chinese folklore are just superstitious nonsense – but what do I know? Perhaps you disagree. If so, let the Education Quizzes team know your thoughts by filling in the comments box below – we want to hear from YOU!