On the way home today, I heard on the car radio two talk show hosts on 93.8 Live jocularly discussing the date when Resorts World Sentosa has been reported to throw open its casino doors: Feb 13.
The female host expressed surprise at the reported choice, as she considered the number 13 unlucky, betraying an Anglo-Saxon superstition bias.
The male host then pointed out that Feb 13 also happens to be the 30th day of the 12th moon according to the lunar calendar. And “30” is considered to be lucky by the Chinese.
It was my turn to be surprised. 30 may indeed be considered lucky by some Chinese, due to the fact that when it is said aloud, it could be mistaken for a lucky utterance in Chinese.
But. And there is a very big but.
Month ends, particularly year ends, aren’t considered to be particularly auspicious for the truly traditional Chinese, as they mark an end.
I’ve a relative and her husband (to be) who, in their ignorant youth, had picked Dec 31 to hold their wedding dinner. To them, that would enable them to start the new year together, as a married couple.
Their elders put their foot down. The end of the year is no way to mark a new life as husband and wife, they pointed out. And so their wedding dinner was held on Jan 2 instead.
Resorts World Sentosa may not fall into this mould of thinking. Or it may.
Then what? Open on Feb 14 which doesn’t sound particularly auspicious in Chinese, especially if one puts the date before the month, giving 142.
Yet, I know some Chinese who would argue that contrary to popular belief, 142 needn’t be pronounced to sound like “easy to die” but “a whole life of ease”. It’s where you put the accent, you see.
However, there’s another problem. Feb 14 is also the start of the Tiger Year. And the Feng Shui fraternity have much to say about the most auspicious direction and timing to make sure the arriving tiger isn’t one that’s ready to eat everything in its way, including the casino.
Still, if I were a feng shui master, I could also make a plausible case on why Resorts World should, nay must, open on Feb 14. Because what better image for a casino to aspire to than that of a tiger, with the eager gamblers as its easy prey?
And the theme music, I would advise should be “I am Tiger hear me roar…” adapted from the gender liberators’ anthem, “I am woman hear me roar..”