Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, August 20, 2008 | Published in


Today is a special day. No, it’s not my birthday.

It’s 20082008

20th August 2008. A Double Match.

It happens only once in a lifetime! You’ll never get such a number again. So I guess I would like to wish everyone a wonderful day!

Last year, the special day was on 20th July. That gave us 20072007.

So next year it will be 20th Sept which gives us 20092009.

But what is all this preoccupation with numbers, you say? What’s the big deal? Actually, no big deal but we Chinese people just like numbers that sound good. In fact, nowadays, even non-Chinese people like good numbers.

Of course how good a number is depends on who you are talking to.

For the Chinese, number 8 sounds like “fatt” in Cantonese and “fa” in Mandarin both meaning prosperous in English so it’s very popular. That is why the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics was held on the 8/8/2008 at exactly 8 seconds, 8 minutes and past 8pm.

However, Chinese people will go all out to avoid the number 4 that sounds like “sei” in Cantonese and “si” in Mandarin, both meaning death in English.

You will usually find houses with numbers like 14 changed to 13A. 14 in Cantonese sounds very close to “sat sei” or sure to die in English. Or number 24 changed to 23A simply because 24 sounds like "yee sei" meaning easy to die.

The number 3 is considered very lucky for the Chinese because it resembles “saang” in Cantonese meaning life in English. Therefore, number 13 is an excellent number as it sounds like “sat saang” or sure to live.

This contrasts directly with the Westerners who think that number 13 is an unlucky number. Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day for Western people. There were also 13 people at the Last Supper and Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus was the 13th person to sit at the table.

In Scotland for instance, there is no number 13 gate at the airport. If you notice, there is no number 13 car in Formula One.

Recently, I entered the lift of a 23-storey condominium and was surprised to see the buttons for the 4th, 13th and 14th floor missing. They had replaced the number 4 with 5 and 5 with 6 and so on, so that the numbers on each button above 3 do not reflect the true floor. I realized then that the 23-storey building was really only 20 storeys high!

The number 6 sounds like “liu” in Mandarin meaning flowing or smooth going, and a lot of people in China and Hong Kong like to use a few digits of number 6 to symbolize a life that is very smooth flowing with no big obstacles and hardships.

However, several digits of 6 like the number 666 is considered demonic to Christians and in Western culture as it is known as the number of the Beast.

According to feng shui expert Joey Yap, all these unlucky numbers are simply superstition and have nothing to do with feng shui. Someone staying in house no.4 does not mean he will suffer bad luck especially if his house has good feng shui.

However, not all feng shui experts agree with this, certainly not Lillian Too. She has sometimes been accused of mixing superstition with feng shui, but maybe that's her biggest selling point!

Whatever it may be, do not take these numbers issues too seriously! Just trust your own instincts. If you are uncomfortable with a certain number, trash it and replace it with a number you like.

By the way, are you going for the Lillian Too's 2009 Feng Shui Extravaganza on 11th January 2009 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre? Ticket price is only RM48 until 30th September 2008, after which the price will increase in stages every month.

I"ll be going of course, not because I'm a believer in everything Lillian Too says, (I prefer to follow Joey Yap's advice actually) but just to enjoy her talks which is often filled with lots of humour and jokes. So if you are going, see you there!

(17) Comments

  1. HappySurfer said...

    I find fengshui very interesting though I am not a total practitioner. I too believe more of Joey's philosophies because they are more practical but you are right, Lilian's talk is very entertaining. I enjoy trips to her shops, WOFS. Enjoy the talk.

    Have a wonderful 20082008 day.

    August 20, 2008 at 10:41 AM
  2. Bengbeng said...

    go, observe n learn. tell us abt it

    August 20, 2008 at 4:06 PM
  3. Anonymous

    ah i almost missed it! 20082008 indeed a good number!

    August 20, 2008 at 6:03 PM
  4. Anonymous

    Oh yeah... thanks for the post only now i realize 20082008! Wow... once in a lifetime!

    August 20, 2008 at 6:39 PM
  5. Anonymous

    Opps! I had 10 more minutes to end 20082008. Now only I realized 20082008. Thanks~

    Feng shui, interesting topic to discuss, I always wanted to changed the feng shui of my room but afraid that it would take alot of efforts and money. Haha...gonna try to learn one to have a better peaceful life.

    August 20, 2008 at 11:57 PM
  6. Anonymous

    Where did you get such an old picture of Lilian Too? Now she's much fatter and older! LOL!!!...My house is No. 4 and I would think that in Mandarin, 10 sounds more like "die" than 4.

    August 21, 2008 at 6:29 AM
  7. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, yes feng shui is very interesting - it's easy to learn but not easy to put into practice. Joey is more on classical feng shui while Lillian lean towards new age and of course, her feng shui products!

    bengbeng, yes will write a post about Lillian's talk after attending it next year.

    cbenc12 & irene, it's a good thing you drop or else you would have missed it! : )

    kenneth, you may not necessarily need to spend a lot of money to change the feng shui of your room. Learn from Joey Yap - he's a pro!

    suituapui, not only is Lillian Too older and fatter now, she's also much richer. So the old photo more flattering : )
    As for the Mandarin word, it depends how you pronounce it. Malaysians tend to pronounce ten as "si" but actual Beijing pronunciation is "shi" which is not as close to the word "si" for death.

    August 21, 2008 at 10:16 AM
  8. Tekkaus said...

    Ouh, I missed it. I missed 2008-2008. Well, feng shui is something rather universal. Even some of the christians and muslims believe it. It's all about energy. My house number is 7 and I have a feng shui 7-layer pagoda tower. It's said to improve on mental's ability. Hey, does that mean I' not smart enough. =)Anyway, this is one nice blog.

    August 21, 2008 at 11:53 AM
  9. Anonymous

    I like to read Feng Shui articles. I followed some simple ones, it's too much work to do everything though. I'll check out Joey Yap's web page. Lillian Too is getting to be too commercialized.

    August 21, 2008 at 11:57 AM
  10. eastcoastlife said...

    I'm not superstitious but I believe in fengshui. I get a fengshui master to see the house every end of the year. To prepare to usher in a new year of prosperity and good blessings. :)

    August 21, 2008 at 5:54 PM
  11. lina said...

    a friend of mine pick this date to give birth by cesarean section.

    August 21, 2008 at 7:55 PM
  12. Unknown said...

    It was indeed a unique number!

    August 21, 2008 at 9:00 PM
  13. Anonymous

    While I believe in feng shui, I do believe it's also in the mindset.

    August 22, 2008 at 12:38 AM

    I totally missed that! How neat! Thanks!

    August 22, 2008 at 6:04 AM
  15. Cally the Wild Aspie said...

    This is great info ... I love to learn new stuff and you are a good teacher. :)

    Thanks also for your comment!

    August 22, 2008 at 7:07 AM
  16. foongpc said...

    tekkaus, it's ok to miss 20082008. It's just another day though I just thought it's a nice matching number. No significance to your feng shui : ) Does your 7-layer pagoda really work?

    babette, i agree with you. Lillian Too is getting too commercialized alrite! That's why Joey Yap's advice hold more water. That's my opinion : )

    eastcoastlife, it's good to have your house feng-shuied every year since the feng shui changes with time. No wonder you have such a successful blog! : )

    August 22, 2008 at 5:55 PM
  17. foongpc said...

    lina, really? Well, 20082008 is cool birth date, but in terms of feng shui, I really don't know if it's good or not! : )

    pinay jade, yes it is - once in a lifetime!

    cc, very true - mindset is important but a lot of feng shui stuffs also deal with the mindset. For example, Lillian's advice to place certain objects in your house - it's actually the power of your mind associated with the object and not the object itself that influence your feng shui.

    health nut wannabee mom, yes, it's a cool date - once in a lifetime!

    cally the wild aspie, thanks for your compliments! Do drop by often! : )

    August 22, 2008 at 6:02 PM