Chinese Numerology

Chinese Numerology
Chinese Numerology

The emperor Fu Hsi is said to have created Chinese numerology four thousand years ago, when he noticed the patterns of a tortoise’s shell. This inspired him to create the Lo Shu grid of numbers.

The Lo Shu grid is 3×3 with the number five located in the centre. Numbers one to nine are used, zero is not used as it is considered the perfect symbol of completeness.

The grid is divided into six parts. Three vertical and three horizontal.

All vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines add up to 15.

The odd and even numbers alternate in the periphery of the Lo Shu pattern. The four even numbers are at the four corners and the five odd numbers form a cross in the centre of the square.

Lo Shu grid

4 9 2

3 5 7

8 1 6

In China, numbers are either yin or yang. The yin are even numbers and yang are odd numbers. The Chinese people use numerology to assist in their everyday lives and numbers have always played a part in Chinese culture.

The Chinese people traditionally associate fortune with lucky numbers. They take lucky numbers into all important decisions in their daily life’s, such as when buying a house, dates for a wedding ceremony, telephone number or car registration number. The Chinese people regard even numbers as more auspicious than odd numbers. That is why they give gifts in even numbers.

In Buddhism the number three represents the Buddha. People will ring a bell three times and use three incense sticks when praying.

The Chinese also combine numbers to create new meanings, based off homophones. Homophones or (xie yin) in Chinese, are words that have the same pronunciation, but with a different meaning, spelling or origin.

Take the most unluckiest number, which is number 4 and combine it with the luckiest number, 8 then any three digit number ending with 48 means wealth for? So many lifetimes, for example 748 sounds like qi si ba which in turn sounds like qi shi fa, meaning “wealth for 7 lifetimes”

So for a bit of fun, I have created a few cocktails with V.I.P Jiu 8 and incorporated the numbers from zero to nine into their names. I hope you enjoy making and drinking the cocktails as you learning the meaning behind numbers.

The number 0, is limitless and is considered a good number because it sounds like (ling,) which means good.

Zero Degrees – Baijiu  Cocktail

30ml of V.I.P Jiu8
16ml of crème de cassis
16ml of lime juice
4 drops of bitters
Ginger beer
Ice cubes
A slice of lemon
4 blueberries

Put 8 ice cubes into a cocktail shaker add everything but the ginger beer, lemon and berries. Shake to mix and strain into a high-ball glass, add four ice cubes, top with ginger beer, garnish with lemon and blueberries.

The number 1, pronounced yi, does not hold a strong standing in Chinese numerology. It is a number indicating first place, but it can also symbolise loneliness.

One For The Road – Baijiu Cocktail

45ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
25ml of grenadine
3 drops of bitters
Soda water
4 ice cubes
A slice lime

Put bitters into a high-ball glass and swirl around, add ice cubes and pour in V.I.P Jiu 8 and grenadine. Top with soda water and garnish with lime slice.

The number 2 pronounced er, is considered a good number, as there is a saying “good things come in pairs” a repetition of it, doubles the happiness and creates a symbol seen at weddings and on new year.

Two’s Company – Baijiu Cocktail

50ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
80ml of cranberry juice
80ml of grapefruit juice
6 ice cubes

Take 2 Collins glasses, put 3 ice cubes in each glass, put 25ml of V.I.P Jiu 8 into each glass, add 40ml each of the the fruit juices and stir well.


The number 3 pronounced san, can indicate “to live” or “life” so it can be considered a good number, but on the other hand it can mean to split or separate, so it can be an unlucky number also.

Three Way Split – Baijiu Cocktail

25ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
25ml of port
2 teaspoons of maraschino liqueur
3 ice cubes

Put all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake to mix. Strain into a Martini glass.

The number 4, pronounced si, is the unluckiest number to the Chinese people, as it is homophonous to the word death.

7-Four-8 Special – Baijiu Cocktail

25ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
25ml of sweet vermouth
50ml of red wine
2 teaspoons of Campari
An orange slice
50ml of blood orange juice
3 ice cubes

Put all the ingredients into a wine glass except the champagne and orange slice, stir to mix and top up with champagne and garnish with an orange slice.

The number 5 pronounced, wu can be associated with the five elements or it can also mean “without” so depending on the context it can be good or bad.

Five Elements – Baijiu Cocktail

45ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
25ml of Triple Sec
3 teaspoons of lemon juice
5 Lychees
5 ice cubes

Put all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker except the ice cubes and two Lychee. Muddle, then add ice cubes. Shake to mix and then strain into a Martini glass and garnish with two peeled lychees on cocktail stick.

The number 6 pronounced, liu is viewed as very lucky due to its similarities with the word for good fortune or happiness.

Six Heaven – Baijiu Cocktail

25ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
25ml of apple juice
4 ice cubes
4 mint leaves
A slice of apple

Muddle mint leaves in a wine glass and add all the ingredients except the champagne and apple slice, stir to mix and top up with champagne and then garnish with an apple slice.

The number 7 pronounced qi can be lucky or unlucky, for it can mean to stand and rise and in another context it can mean to cheat or deceive.

Seven Sins – Baijiu Cocktail

25ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
75ml of white wine
50ml of apple juice
1 teaspoon of passion fruit syrup
Soda water
A slice pear
Ice cubes

Muddle grapes and add to a cocktail shaker then add the rest of ingredients except the soda water and pear slice, shake to mix and then strain into tall glass. Top up with soda water and garnish with a pear slice.

The number 8 pronounced ba is viewed as the most auspicious number. It is the most favoured number associated with wealth and luck.

Luxury Eight – Baijiu Cocktail

50ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
15ml of coconut rum
12ml of vanilla syrup
25ml of coconut cream
Cream soda
A pineapple slice
3 maraschino cherries
Crushed ice

Half fill a tall glass with crushed ice, then add the V.I.P Jiu 8, coconut rum, vanilla syrup and coconut cream, stir and top up with cream soda and garnish with a pineapple slice and cherries. Drink through a straw.

The number 9 pronounced jiu can mean a long time, so this number is incorporated into the symbols of marriage ceremonies, It is associated with longevity and connected to the emperor.

Nine Suns – Baijiu Cocktail

30ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
15ml of cherry brandy
8ml of Cointreau
8ml of Benedictine
15ml of grenadine
15ml of lime juice
125ml of orange juice
An orange slice
Ice cubes

Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and add all ingredients except the orange slice, shake well, put three ice cubes into high-ball glass, strain cocktail over the top and garnish with an orange slice.

I will now go and wash my hands before I make a few canapés to enjoy with my 7-four-8 special, “very hygienic” you might say, but did you know, if you are having a unlucky streak whilst gambling, the Chinese believe it is best to go and wash your hands, so as to wash away the bad luck.

Some gamblers even carry their own lucky bar of soap for when this scenario arises, but if you are on a winning streak it is considered bad luck to wash your hands in case you wash away your good luck. Superstitions are prevalent in all cultures and they make interesting reading.

So with that said I will say, ‘touch wood and zhu ni hao yun’ (jew nee how yoon)