Just another one of those calendar oddities that will never occur again - until the next time it occurs!
That officials of the Beijing Summer Olympics chose to open the games of the XXIX Olympiad Friday at precisely 8:08:08 PM on the eighth of August, 2008, is no coincidence. It has long been held to the Chinese people that the number eight denotes good luck. A few examples follow:
The national card game is "Crazy 8s."So lucky is the number 8 viewed that as of 8 AM on 8/08/08, 160,000 couples showed up at Beijing registrations offices to be married.
"Eight is Enough" is the number one syndicated TV program.
Hop Sing and Kato are still considered to be TV stars, and 8 channels show reruns of "Bonanza" and "The Green Hornet" 8 times a week.
"Eight Days a Week" was once considered for the country's national anthem.
Shen Lina and Wang Bin applied online. The future Mrs. Shen Bin said they were lucky to get a number and were married on the desired date.
At area hospitals there was a rush by expectant mothers asking for caesarean sections in attempts for their children to be born on 08/08/08.
It was expected that many child naming rituals were held on the magical date. The ritual, sometimes referred to as "Singing Spoons," features the act of tossing spoons and forks into the air and allowing them to fall onto a floor, a table or other hard services. The resulting sounds, such as boing-ping-ding or ting-bang-clang made by the silverware striking a surface become the name of the child.
There has been frantic activity at the shops of dealers who sell cell phones. The customers were trying to obtain lucky cell phone numbers containing as many 8s as possible. New cell phones can sell for as little as $10 in Beijing, but lucky phone number can cost up to mote than $3000. (The average annual income of urban workers is $5500.)
One man, Zhang Jianyun paid $2788 earlier this year for the cell phone #2008-0808. It was reported that a cell phone with a number containing six consecutive 8s sold for $6750 last year. The Chinese people actually negotiate the price of the luckiest numbers with the stores.
Ever the opportunists, the activist group PeTA has not ignored the chance to capitalize on the Olympics.
Two days before the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, Amanda Beard, an American Olympic Athlete, posed for the advertisement at the right.
From her position in the pose, it is unclear whether she is in fact completely fur-less.
Knowing that the Chinese consider the number 8 lucky, the following celebrities born on August 8 would rank as royalty:
ROGER FEDERER - Champion Swiss tennis player; DONNY MOST - From the show "Happy Days"; DINO DE LAURENTIS - Italian movie producer of "Barbarella"; DAVE (THE EDGE) EVANS - Guitarist and vocalist of U2; DREW LACHEY - Former member 98 Degrees, host, actor, "Dancing With the Stars"; CONNIE STEVENS - Actress and singer; ESTHER WILLIAMS - Movie icon in aqua musicals; MATTHEW HENSON - With Robert Peary, first to reach the North Pole in 1909; RORY CALHOUN Star of TV show "The Texan"; DUSTIN HOFFMAN - Actor; and ROBIN QUIVERS - Radio newscaster and longtime sidekick of Howard Stern