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How much do you know about the number nine?

editor  14-09-11 16:33

Language:中文 pin yin English

The number nine not only has the function of being a number, but also has a number of unique cultural connotations in China. 
As nine is the biggest one-digit number, one is beginning and nine is the end in a famous Taoist saying. It is the number which represents the potential for endless limits. For example, “the mountain road has nine twists and eighteen turns.” This does not mean the mountain road has only nine twists, but means it has many twists. Sometimes, people say “九九八十一” (nine times nine is eighty-one) to mean the limit of things. For example, in the novel of Journey to the West, Monk Tangseng and his apprentices that went to the western world for Buddhist scriptures must go through eighty-one disasters before reaching their destination. 
Because nine means ultimate attainment, it was extended to mean supreme. For example, in ancient times people addressed empires as “九五之尊” as a way to show endless respect. 
Nine also has the same pronunciation as the Chinese character “久,” which means a long time. Therefore, people use the quantity of nine to mean something that lasts permanently. For example, sending one’s special person nine roses on Valentine’s Day is a way to represent an endless love. There are many song lyrics that state “I have grown nine hundred and ninety-nine flowers for you.” What an out there expression! 


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Edit on14-09-11 16:33

15-04-04 23:22

16-01-03 13:37