5 strange Chinese superstitions

Posted on Mar 9, 2022      260

Chinese talismans and amulets are often used by Europeans to attract good luck and protect them from trouble. Many superstitions are so deeply rooted in the minds of people that even in modern times they are given special importance. But when you buy a Chinese protective amulet, many people do not think about the superstitions and prohibitions that have long existed among the Chinese. Here are just a few of those beliefs that play a special role for the Chinese people.

There should not be two dogs in the house

The Chinese have a rich and complex language in which hieroglyphs are ascribed special magical powers. Incorrect spelling or a combination of Chinese characters may cause misfortune. The prohibition on owning two dogs is just one example, which illustrates this. To explain more plainly, having two dogs means there are two mouths in the house that need food. The combination of the characters for “mouth” and “dog” form the verb “to cry. Therefore, two dogs in one house is considered a bad omen by the Chinese, because they can bring grief and tears to a family.

But when we look at this Chinese superstition with ordinary logic, the statement is quite convincing. One dog is easier to take care of than two. One animal can get more attention and free time. What is funny is that the Chinese, who consider it a bad omen to have two dogs in the house, see nothing wrong with having three, four or more four-legged friends? Only two dogs are considered a symbol of bad luck. And to get around the taboo, the Chinese have come up with a pretty good idea. You can be the owner of two dogs if you have a third one in the house, but not necessarily a live one, because a life-sized figurine of the animal is enough.

You can’t share a pear with the person you love.

It’s not about a pear, but the same Chinese language that imposes several restrictions. Unlike the first Chinese superstition with dogs, this omen has to do with the sound of the word. The Chinese word for “pear” is pronounced “li. This is exactly the sound of the Chinese word, which means “sharing.” Therefore, it is believed that eating one pear together can lead to the breakup of a relationship between lovers. This is one strange Chinese superstition that defies any logical explanation.

You can’t give a watch

This is probably one of the Chinese superstitions, which is reminiscent of the omens widespread among Europeans as well. This prohibition should be especially strict in relation to the elderly. In Chinese, the word “clock” is formed by two characters, which means “time” and “stop”. Therefore, to give someone a watch is literally to wish that time would stop for this person, which, simply put, means death.

Scary Number Four

If the Europeans have a superstitious fear of everything under the number 13, the Chinese analogize it to the number four. In Chinese, it sounds like “Xi”, which also serves to denote the word “death”. That is why many Chinese try to avoid this number in every way. In China you may find that in elevators of apartment buildings and hotels there is no button for the fourth floor. The fourth floor is rarely used for apartments or living quarters, as it is believed that life there would be a continuous streak of bad luck. The same number is usually bypassed when planning important events. The superstitious Chinese are not likely to travel on the 4th, 14th or 24th. Even those who are not paranoid avoid flights that include this number.

Black and white are forbidden

If tourists want to stand out (in a bad way) among the Chinese, they should preferably wear only white or black. These two colors in the Chinese symbolize death. At funerals, you can see the Chinese wearing only black or white clothing. Therefore, you should not visit the Chinese in such colors, unless you want to offend the hospitable hosts. However, modern Chinese young people ignore these superstitions. In China or Hong Kong you can meet many young people wearing black jackets.