Learn about “吉日 (jírì) lucky days”and “凶日(xiōngrì) unlucky days”


All cultures have their superstitions. The Chinese people are no different! There are many interesting beliefs involving colors, gifts, self-grooming, and especially, numbers and dates. In Chinese superstition, the number “4” is considered as unlucky because the pronunciation is similar to the word “死 (sǐ) death.”

The Chinese believe that the numbers that use “8” are lucky because the pronunciation is similar to “prosper’. These “lucky” and “unlucky” numbers also influence the calendar days that the Chinese choose to open a business, ride on an airplane, get married, and so on.

In English, there is the vague expression that “some days are better than others ” but that expression doesn’t specify which days are better or worse. In Chinese, we have specific days in which to go about our business . On these “lucky” days, things may go your way. On the “unlucky” days, however, you may be best to just keep things simple.

We call these blessed or cursed days either “吉日 (jírì) lucky days” or “凶日 (xiōngrì) unlucky days”. Let’s break it down:

“吉 (jí)” means lucky, suitable

“凶 (xiōng)” means bad, unlucky

And, we can put them together with “日 (rì) day” and get:

“吉日 (jírì) lucky day”

“凶日 (xiōngrì) unlucky day”

It’s as simple as that!

Examples of “吉日 (jírì) lucky day” and “凶日 (xiōngrì) unlucky day” in use:

Nǐmen yídìng yào xuǎn gè jírì dìnghūn.
You must choose a lucky day for your engagement.

Jīntiān shì tāmen de kāizhāng jírì.
The lucky day is their grand opening date.

Qī yuè shí sì rì nàtiān shì gè xiōngrì, zánmen hái shì bié chūmén le ba !
7 月14日那天是个凶日,咱们还是别出门了吧!
July 14th is an unlucky day, we’d better not go out.

HSK 3 quiz

1. If you want to propose marriage to your girlfriend, you may want to choose to do this on a(n):
A. 凶日 (xiōngrì)
B. 今日 (jīnrì)
C. 吉日 (jírì)

Chinese Culture
General Chinese (Beginner Level) 
General Chinese (Intermediate Level) 

7 thoughts on “Learn about “吉日 (jírì) lucky days”and “凶日(xiōngrì) unlucky days””

    1. jennifer.zhu

      Wow, great! You got the correct answer. We will keep updating more posts. Please feel free to check.

    1. jennifer.zhu

      Wow, great. You got the correct answer. We will keep updating more posts, please feel free to check and hope they can help you learn Chinese well.

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