Chinese: 九

Pinyin: jiǔ

English: nine

Imagery: a boy looking into a dark cave

History of character: the character originally looked like an arm reaching out towards something which meant to touch or to explore the situation. Now it simply means nine. The number nine is often used in Chinese weddings since it has the same pronunciation with 久 (pinyin: jiǔ; meaning: everlasting). The number nine is also the highest single digit number therefore it is associated with completeness and eternity. It was frequently used in matters relating to the Emperor. The emperors wore nine-dragon imperial robes and described the large territory ‘Nine Continents’. The Forbidden City in Beijing consists of many buildings with 9999 rooms.