In Chinese numerology, the number eight is associated with prosperity. It's such a lucky number1 (as everyone knows by now), that the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing will begin at 8:08PM on 08/08/08.
In My Mascot Only Gave Me Sex Appeal, Kylie of PodBlack Cat covers Chinese superstitions about numbers...
A manifestation of Chinese superstition in Hong Kong is the common desire to avoid certain numbers and to engage others. Hospitals, along with most hotels and many other buildings, often do not label “fourth” floors and sometimes “fourteenth” floors because the number “4” and the word “death” sound almost identical in Cantonese and Mandarin…...and ghosts...
As for giving up on the architecture altogether due to superstitious beliefs, some of you may be familiar with the pictures of San-Zhr pod village - closed due to belief in ghosts of workers who were killed on the site, leaving unfinished buildings decaying in a rather attractively futuristic-apocalyptic fashion....and “Belief in ghost month can help prevent drowning deaths: a natural experiment on the effects of cultural beliefs on risky behaviours” (Yang et al., 2008):
Studies have suggested that cultural beliefs, such as those underlying religious social occasions and superstitions, have both positive and negative effects on mortality rates. Many people in Southern China believe that there are wandering ghosts who were released from hell during the lunar month of July ... people therefore avoid unnecessary risky activities during ghost month. The aim of this study was to examine whether unintentional drowning deaths decreased during ghost month, using a matched control design and mortality data of Taiwan between 1981 and 2005. ... The mean number of deaths in ghost months was lower than that in the matched controls... The differences were more prominent in men than in women. ... Possible mechanisms are that people who believe in the ghost month might either decrease their exposure to water-related activities or involve themselves less in risky behaviours during ghost month, as a kind of risk compensation, consequently resulting in a reduction in the number of drowning deaths.
To be continued...
1 Not for Lene Lovich, however. Her lucky number is 2 (WATCH, and be sure to select high quality).
Something tells me lucky number's gonna be oweoweoweoweoweowe...Lene Lovich, Lucky number
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