It's easy to see how incredibly important the number 8 is to the Chinese - they've chosen 08/08/2008 at 8.08pm as the date for the beginning of the 2008 Olympic Games.
The number Eight is similar to the Mandarin and Cantonese terms for prosperity. Therefore, eight is regarded as a highly auspicious number by the Chinese embodying increased luck and good fortune. According to the Tong Shu, a calendar outlining and enabling the selection of auspicious days for various events, the 8th of August is particularly good for an opening ceremony.
From the perspective of the Chinese astrology system called the Four Pillars of Destiny the Beijing 2008 Olympics begin on the day of the Golden Dragon - a Yang Metal day. The month of August is also a period of metal making the two weeks allocated to these games a time of very powerful metal providing the strength to conquer. The Chinese time system is made up of twelve hours and so each two hour section is represented by one of the twelve animals. The chosen time of 8pm for the opening of these games is the hour of the Dog and it is strong between 7 and 9pm. Interestingly, the hour of the Dog and the chosen day of the Dragon bring with it a clash. This could bring some challenges during the first hour of the ceremony but not necessarily transparent or lasting.
The Olympic Flag, first flown during the 1920 Olympic Games contains, on a white background five interconnected rings representing the five significant continents. These rings also symbolize the potential friendships gained from these international sporting competitions. The colors of these rings; red, green, black, yellow and blue were chosen because at least one of them appeared on the flag of every country of the world. From the Chinese metaphysical perspective these colors represent four of the all important five elements namely; water, wood, fire and earth with the white background signifying the fifth element of metal.
The founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin designed the universally recognizable Olympic Flag. He also wrote an oath (recited at each game by one of the athletes) and an Olympic motto. The latter being borrowed from a Latin phrase: Citius, Altius, Fortius meaning....Swifter, Higher, Stronger.
Pierre de Coubertin's athlete's oath and creed are something that can be held within all our hearts as we walk our path in life.
The Olympic Oath: "In the name of all competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules that govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams."
The Olympic Creed: "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
In 1936 the chairman of the organizing committee suggested a torch relay. So, in accordance with tradition (the same reason why the opening procession is always led by the Greek team), the Olympic flame is lit using a curved mirror and sunlight on the ancient site of Olympia, Greece. It then travels a specified route to the host city remaining alight until the games have come to an end. The flame represents purity and the endeavor of perfection.
In the preceding months of the Beijing Games the transport of the flame from Mount Olympia in Greece, around the world to the host city of Beijing, has been subject to considerable political protest and controversy.
Over the coming two weeks each country throws their support behind their athletes in the hope that they will bring home a fair share of bronze, silver and gold medals (although the last medal made entirely of gold was awarded in 1912). However, it could be worthwhile to remember that; 'the important thing is to participate with good sportsmanship and have fought well'. Go Australia!! Swifter, Higher, Stronger.
About the Author
Juliana Abram is one of the leading Feng Shui consultants in Australia having
been traditionally trained in Hong Kong by Chinese Feng Shui Master Raymond Lo.
Juliana specializes in 'Flying Star' Feng Shui and the Four Pillars of destiny.
Juliana runs her own Feng Shui consultancy ( see http://www.fengshuicentre.com.au ) and her own online Feng Shui store ( see http://www.fengshuishop.com.au ).