08 08 08 = luck x3
August 7, 2008 12:19 PM   Subscribe

08-08-08 is not only the start of the Olympic games in China. It's also an extremely lucky date, given that the number 8 is considered fortuitous in Chinese culture, being associated with wealth and prosperity. Due to this unlikely (but very lucky) confluence of events, upwards of 9,000 Chinese couples will be getting hitched on 08-08-08. Note that not everybody agrees with the astrological implications of this particular date, but that just sounds like mumbo-jumbo to me.

By way of coincidence, one of our own (American) MeFites is tying the knot tomorrow- congrats to voltairemodern and his bride-to-be!
posted by baphomet (63 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
888 seems useful, in that, it allows you remember your anniversary more easily. Hard to forget 8-8-8.
posted by metaboy at 12:25 PM on August 7, 2008


I'm anticipating the grande feast of July 8, 2009.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:25 PM on August 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


A new Avalanches album was rumored to drop tomorrow at one point. That happens less often than the Olympics.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:28 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sitting next to my boss, I mention the 9000 weddings thing...

"That's the best they can do? A country of 1.3 Billion on the luckiest day of the century, and the best they can do is 9000? Weak"
posted by teabag at 12:28 PM on August 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


8 8 8, is that pronounced "nom nom nom"?
posted by orthogonality at 12:29 PM on August 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'll be spending my 8/8/08, in part, here.
posted by anazgnos at 12:30 PM on August 7, 2008


I've been wondering about the 08/08/08 thing. The opening ceremony is being broadcast at 7:30 p.m. EST (in the US). Is it being broadcast live? If so, doesn't that mean it's taking place at 7:30 a.m. on August 9th in China? Doesn't that negate the whole 08/08/08 thing? If I'm completely wrong, please feel free to point and laugh. This has been bugging me for awhile and I'll just be happy to get an answer.
posted by amyms at 12:40 PM on August 7, 2008


Jennifer 8. Lee!
posted by fixedgear at 12:40 PM on August 7, 2008


Ah, I see this post has eight comments. How fortuitous!

wait... damn
posted by Rhaomi at 12:46 PM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Too many 8's.
posted by rocket88 at 12:54 PM on August 7, 2008




Is it being broadcast live?

No. Stay away from the internet if you don't want to be spoiled.
posted by smackfu at 1:04 PM on August 7, 2008


Um, are there any numbers, especially single-digits in decimal, not rumored to be considered "lucky" by the Chinese?^
posted by abulafa at 1:04 PM on August 7, 2008


While the year 2008 includes an eight, it's not purely an eight vibration: 2+0+0+8 = 10; 1+0 = 1. Thus, the date is really 8-8-1 on the most important, fundamental, numerological level.

Someone's bitter.
posted by metastability at 1:06 PM on August 7, 2008


I 8 you.
posted by orange swan at 1:06 PM on August 7, 2008


And that's the day my daughter turns 8! We're going to spend the day buying lottery tickets.
posted by GuyZero at 1:08 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


After lo these many years, is 8-8-8 finally the day he wakes up and comments?
posted by netbros at 1:09 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can you imagine how much abalone, shark, lobster is going to be served tomorrow?
posted by chunking express at 1:17 PM on August 7, 2008


And that's the day my daughter turns 8! We're going to spend the day buying lottery tickets.

Eight is a great age to learn that lottery tickets are simply a tax on people that can't do math. Kudos for teaching her such a valuable lesson at such a young age.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:19 PM on August 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


8 is also the number of permutations of 3 sticks (broken or unbroken - i.e. 2^3 possibilities) in the I Ching, which is another reason why 8 is considered lucky.
posted by kalessin at 1:20 PM on August 7, 2008


Can you imagine how much abalone, shark, lobster is going to be served tomorrow?

You forgot Tiger penis.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:21 PM on August 7, 2008


Eight is a great age to learn that lottery tickets are simply a tax on people that can't do math. Kudos for teaching her such a valuable lesson at such a young age.

I have this fiendish idea of creating a mutual fund that solely invests in lottery tickets in order to drive home this point. I'd give it a nice high expense ratio too.
posted by mkb at 1:21 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


And here in Vegas the Stratosphere is running an $8.88 mass wedding special.
posted by ilsa at 1:25 PM on August 7, 2008


Also, if the olympics helps China realize it's economic ambitions, then surely the couples wed on this date may eventually beat all previous dates in divorce rate. :)
posted by jeffburdges at 1:29 PM on August 7, 2008


And it's my birthday. Maybe I'll buy a lottery ticket.

There's a British Royal family minor child that was born on 8/8/88, too.
posted by Leon at 1:33 PM on August 7, 2008


Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of cognition,
I hold with those who favor superstition.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:37 PM on August 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


And here in Vegas the Stratosphere is running an $8.88 mass wedding special.

I was ambivalent until I saw the $8.88 included admission to the thrill rides. It's probably cheaper than an actual ticket.
posted by GuyZero at 1:42 PM on August 7, 2008


It's probably cheaper than an actual ticket.

If you don't include the cost of the divorce 3 days later, sure.
posted by inigo2 at 1:44 PM on August 7, 2008


What did 0 say to 8?

Nice belt!
posted by inigo2 at 1:44 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Um, are there any numbers, especially single-digits in decimal, not rumored to be considered "lucky" by the Chinese?

I did a post about unlucky number 4 ages ago.
posted by euphorb at 1:51 PM on August 7, 2008


My brother's wife is schedule to have a c-section on 8/8/08. She is giving birth to twins.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:03 PM on August 7, 2008


Some of the older Cityplace condos in Toronto don't have any floors with the number 4 on them, since they are marketed heavily to people from Hong Kong. So there is no 4, 13, 14, 24, 34, 40-49, 54, etc. I think they don't let you do that anymore because it makes life difficult for firemen and emergency workers. (Since the 24th floor is actually not the 24th floor.)
posted by chunking express at 2:04 PM on August 7, 2008


The math is off, or the premise is off, about this "auspicious" day.

If one assumes that the average Chinese person will marry another Chinese person once in his or her life (some will marry more than once, some won't marry, a few will mary someone who isn't Chinese), that means that - of the living Chinese, there will be 650,000,000 wedding pairings.

If one assumes that the average Chinese person lives 27,000 days (which is higher than the average life expectancy by a little), that means there should be roughly 24,000 weddings each day.

So those 9,000 Chinese weddings on this day actually represent a drop of more than 60% of the average number of weddings one would expect.

These are rough numbers, but close enough to give one some idea of how unamazing the number of 9,000 weddings truly is.

Unless I did the math wrong.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:08 PM on August 7, 2008


Or unless you read the post to specifically mean Beijing weddings.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:09 PM on August 7, 2008


In which case, one would expect 333 or so weddings. So 9,000 would be a lot.

Never mind.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:11 PM on August 7, 2008


Ach, this makes me feel old. I still remember 8/8/88, when the Crazy 8's played 8 concerts around Portland, OR. Anyone else see them?
posted by sapere aude at 2:18 PM on August 7, 2008


When I scored 888 as my race number last year, my ABC girlfriend told me that it was a very lucky number. She was wrong.
posted by argh at 2:20 PM on August 7, 2008


888.com
posted by Zambrano at 3:03 PM on August 7, 2008


Two days later, 08/10/08, is Tisha B'Av, a very unlucky date. It's also my son's solar and hebrew birthday, but as a birthday, it is considered more fortunate.
posted by Araucaria at 3:17 PM on August 7, 2008


The opening ceremony is being broadcast at 7:30 p.m. EST (in the US). Is it being broadcast live?

No. In Canada, we are getting the live broadcast, beginning at 7:00 am Eastern, or 7:00pm Beijing.
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:19 PM on August 7, 2008


I will be turning 42 tomorrow, 08/08/08 totally rules! I'll be turning 42, which as we know is the meaning of life. Maybe I'll start a religion.
posted by prodigalsun at 4:03 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Stay away from the internet if you don't want to be spoiled.
posted by subgear at 4:36 PM on August 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Eight may be lucky, but four is unlucky in China.

4+4=8

That's pretty messed up right there. Then again, here in the states, the fourteenth floor is really the thirteenth, or at least that's what we tell ourselves. Bad things would happen on the thirteenth floor, so we just pretend there isn't one. That's pretty messed up right there.

Of course, numbers are pretty arbitrary. Our society has evolved with a general tendency to calculate using a base ten, but we could have just as easily gone with base eight or base twelve. We call ten a "nice round number" but that's subjective. Objectively, it's just another number.

So whatever significance these numbers have? Human beings place that significance themselves. The universe has nothing to do with it, and there's no way to prove mathematically that one number is more or less lucky than any other.

In other words, we are lying to ourselves when we believe these things.

But hey. Who am I to rain on Beijing's parade?
posted by ZachsMind at 4:49 PM on August 7, 2008


Our society has evolved with a general tendency to calculate using a base ten, but we could have just as easily gone with base eight or base twelve. We call ten a "nice round number" but that's subjective

Yah, it wouldn't have anything to do with our ten fingers or anything.
posted by fixedgear at 4:55 PM on August 7, 2008


Since we're talking about numerology, let's not forget that earlier this year, the Chinese were starting to worry that the number 8 was not particularly lucky this year, leading some to fear that having three 8s for the Olympics might be pretty disastrous.
posted by reformedjerk at 5:21 PM on August 7, 2008


"Yah, it wouldn't have anything to do with our ten fingers or anything."

Actually, it would! That reinforces my original statement that choosing base ten was a subjective thing on the part of Man. Had we evolved with eight fingers, odds are today we'd count with a base eight to our mathematics approach, instead.

Thank you for helping me prove my point, FixedGear. That was mighty kind of you. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 6:00 PM on August 7, 2008


So whatever significance these numbers have? Human beings place that significance themselves. The universe has nothing to do with it, and there's no way to prove mathematically that one number is more or less lucky than any other.
Not to pick a nit, but although your point is valid that our affection for base 10 contains no real mathematical significance, this does not diminish any luckiness that certain numbers may have. Bases (10, 2, 16) are ways of representing numbers. What we call 8 could (though I subscribe to no such belief) be a lucky number independent what whatever base it is expressed or represented in.
If the superstition was along the lines of: "whatever number is represented by the runes '13' is unlucky!" then your point would be valid, since '13' means differnet things in different bases, and thus has no fixed value to be lucky or unlucky. However, the superstition is that the amount of things represented by 13 in the base-10 system is an unlucky amount of things, which could be true.
Of course, as you said, there is certainly no mathematical proof of the luckiness of numbers. I can't even imagine what one would look like.
posted by milestogo at 6:20 PM on August 7, 2008


damn preview. It doesn't work right!
posted by milestogo at 6:20 PM on August 7, 2008


So... is the preview feature 'unlucky' for you?
posted by ZachsMind at 6:29 PM on August 7, 2008


It's also the 20 year anniversary of one of the bloodiest massacres in recent memory.
posted by the cydonian at 7:09 PM on August 7, 2008


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it the year 4644/4704-11-23 in the Chinese Calendar?
posted by crossoverman at 7:11 PM on August 7, 2008


So... is the preview feature 'unlucky' for you?


No, it isnt the feature, it's the timestamp. Multiples of 4 are unlucky minutes during the summer months.
posted by milestogo at 8:05 PM on August 7, 2008


There's a British Royal family minor child that was born on 8/8/88, too.

So in Britain you're considered a minor until at least 20 years old, then?
posted by marble at 8:06 PM on August 7, 2008


Prodigalsun, please do start one. One of my best friends started the Hot Tub Mystery Religion, of which I am a member, and of course there are tax perks. The, uh, sacraments and get-togethers ain't so bad, either.

42 IS the meaning of life, and I hope your next year is fabulous.

8-8-08 is the beginning of a two-year anniversary weekend for me, so I'm pretty stoked about tomorrow myself.

Go USA, and congrats VoltaireModern! I hope your love lasts for infinity... the symbol of which is, of course, ∞.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:38 PM on August 7, 2008


8/8/8 is also the date of Flickr's 888: 24 hours of Flickr

"Take a photo any time during the twenty-four hour period that’s August 8th where you are and then share it with the group. We’ll accept one (1) contribution per Flickr member into the group from noon PST Friday, August 8th until Tuesday, September 2nd, noon PST, 2008."

And this is also the beginning of the 10th Annual Del Close Marathon, which I will be in attendance for, because I honestly don't care about the Olympics. I hope everyone else has fun though.
posted by Del Far at 8:38 PM on August 7, 2008


Sorry, that's wangernum.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:47 PM on August 7, 2008


So in Britain you're considered a minor until at least 20 years old, then?

Charles is 59 and they still won't let him have a job.
posted by Leon at 9:55 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Then again, here in the states, the fourteenth floor is really the thirteenth

Nah.. it's really the 12th. You started counting too early.
posted by pompomtom at 10:26 PM on August 7, 2008


I've been wondering about the 08/08/08 thing. The opening ceremony is being broadcast at 7:30 p.m. EST (in the US). Is it being broadcast live? If so, doesn't that mean it's taking place at 7:30 a.m. on August 9th in China? Doesn't that negate the whole 08/08/08 thing? If I'm completely wrong, please feel free to point and laugh. This has been bugging me for awhile and I'll just be happy to get an answer.

No, it's definitely happening on the 8th here. Which suggests to me you aren't going to see it live. 7.30pm EST is 7.30am here, so by the time you get to watch it we'll already be in August 9th.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong people aren't getting hitched today, but almost every private hospital maternity ward is booked out by expectant mothers who have booked c-sections for today.
posted by awfurby at 10:26 PM on August 7, 2008


America loves 777 as a lucky omen instead, to a lesser degree perhaps, unless you're Pat Robertson.
posted by Brian B. at 10:36 PM on August 7, 2008


Lots of brand new buildings in Vancouver missing floors 4, 13, 14, 24. Eighth floors always sell out first.

Also the 2008 thing still works: 8+8+2+0+0+8=26. 2+6=8 so all is good.
posted by salishsea at 1:00 AM on August 8, 2008


August 8th is also Father's Day here in Taiwan (and I assume China), since the word for 8 is pronounced Ba (Mandarin), as is the word for father (ba-ba).
posted by rmmcclay at 3:14 AM on August 8, 2008


Haha, thanks for the shout out...I wouldn't say it was coincidence, though, since we chose the date specifically because it would be easy to remember ;)

Here are some pictures from the ceremony: http://blog.aodell.com/2008/sarah-john/

Sorry for the delayed reaction, I didn't notice this post until we got back from our honeymoon!
posted by voltairemodern at 7:08 PM on September 2, 2008


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