I’m going to Hong Kong for the weekend. So is Friday the 13th unlucky in China as well? I don’t really care since I’m not a triskaidekaphobe, but according to Chinese and Cantonese superstition I would do well to steer clear of the numbers FOUR and FOURTEEN. Bad news.
Some of the information here is from Wikipedia :
Number 4 (四 sì) is considered an unlucky number in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cultures because it is nearly homophonous to the word death (死 sǐ). Due to that, many numbered product lines skip the 4 such as Nokia’s cell phones (there is no series beginning with a 4), and the Canon PowerShot camera G series (after G3 comes G5). The Marriott Hotel where I stay in Hong Kong does not have a 4th floor. Some high-rise residential buildings there literally miss all floor numbers with 4, such as 4, 14, 24, 34 and all 40–49 floors ! As a result, a building whose highest floor is number 50 may actually have only 36 physical floors.
Then there is number 14 – considered to be one of the unluckiest numbers. Although 14 is usually said in Mandarin as 十四 shí sì, which sounds like 十死 ten die, it can also be said as 一四 yī sì or 么四 yāo sì, literally one four which sounds like want to die (要死). In Cantonese, 14 sounds like certainly die (實死). Not all Chinese people consider it to be an unlucky number as the pronunciation differs among the various dialects.