Lucky 8's, Yo

August 7, 2008

So I knew that right about now we'd start seeing the stories about Chinese and Chinese Americans getting married on the magical date, 8/8/08, which is manana. If I were still at my old paper, I probably would've been compelled to write a similar story about local Chinese Americans headed down the aisle, or to the local courthouse.

Remember last year at 7/7/07? The same thing happened. I mean, damn, 777 is pretty lucky but 888? Never again shall we see such auspicious numbers. I can understand why people are drawn to this date. In Chinese culture, the number 8 is pronounced something like "ba" (in Mandarin) which sounds like "fa," which means fortune, or that you will get a crapload of money at some point down the road.

I'd grown up hearing this, of course. You might know Chinese people who pick their address or home based on some lucky numbers, or their license plates or phone numbers and what not.

Check out this story by my colleague about a local artist, who appears to be African American, who decided to schedule his art show's opening on the lucky day.

I'm only slightly poking fun at this phenomenon cause I believe it too. I mean, I'll take an 8 over a 4 any day (4 sounding a whole lot like "death," of course). And when I plan big events like baby showers and stuff, I also look up auspicious dates. I am not above all this Chinese numerology/superstitious hoopla.

And as we know, the Olympics start tomorrow on 8/8/08 at 8:08 p.m. (that's FIVE 8s, not four, thank goodness).

Do you know anyone who's getting married tomorrow? If you are a newlywed or are planning a wedding, did this date cross your mind?


Momo Chang

Senior Contributing Editor

Momo Chang is the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media, and freelances for magazines, online publications, and weeklies. Her writings focus on Asian American communities, communities of color, and youth culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Her stories range from uncovering working conditions in nail salons, to stories about “invisible minorities” like Tongan youth and Iu Mien farmers. She has freelances The New York Times, WIRED, and East Bay Express, among other publications.