Lucky and Unlucky Numbers: A Fascinating Look at Superstitions Across the Globe
Numbers hold a special place in various cultures, and superstitions surrounding them have been deeply ingrained in society for centuries. From avoiding certain numbers in phone numbers and license plates to steering clear of unlucky dates, people across the world have unique beliefs when it comes to numbers. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of lucky and unlucky numbers in different regions and the intriguing reasons behind these beliefs.
Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in China:
In Chinese culture, the number 4 is considered highly unlucky due to its homonymic association with the Chinese word for death. The pronunciation similarity between “4” and “death” leads people to avoid this number whenever possible. For instance, having a phone number that starts with “444” could be perceived as “death-death-death,” creating an aversion to such combinations. Instead, the number 8 is highly favored as it sounds similar to the word for prosperity. Custom phone numbers adorned with multiple eights are believed to bring good fortune.
Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in Asia:
While the number 9 is often regarded as lucky in various cultures, the Japanese hold a different view. In Japan, the number 9 is associated with “torture and suffering,” making it an unlucky number. Similarly, Koreans consider the number 4 to be inauspicious due to its connection with death. On the other hand, numbers 3, 8, and 9 are considered lucky in Korean culture.
In Japan, numbers take on a unique significance when it comes to aging. Certain ages, known as “yakudoshi,” are considered unlucky for both men and women. For women, these ages are 19, 33, and 37, while for men, it’s 25, 42, and 60, though this can vary by region.
Lucky and Unlucky Numbers in America:
In the United States and many Western cultures, the number 13 is famously considered unlucky. The origins of this superstition can be traced back to Norse mythology and Christian beliefs, with events like the Last Supper contributing to its negative connotation.
Conversely, the numbers 3, 7, and 12 are widely regarded as lucky in the US. The number 3 is associated with creation and the holy trinity in Christianity. As for the number 7, it holds significance in various aspects of life, from religious symbolism to the days in a week and continents on Earth. The number 12, often seen as lucky, is easily divisible by multiple numbers and is linked to the months of the year and hours on a clock.
The Most Unlucky Numbers in the World:
Among the most avoided numbers worldwide are 4 and 13. In Asian cultures like Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam, the number 4 is closely tied to death. This association leads to tetraphobia, the fear of the number 4.
Similarly, triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13, is widely recognized, and many buildings in Western countries, including 55 out of 629 condo buildings in Manhattan, skip the 13th floor due to superstition. Other phobic names for feared numbers include heptadekaphobia, the fear of the number 17, and hexakosiolhexakontahexaphobia, the fear of the number 666.
Superstitions surrounding lucky and unlucky numbers offer a fascinating glimpse into the diverse beliefs of different cultures. Whether it’s avoiding the number 4 in Chinese culture or fearing the number 13 in the West, numbers continue to hold significant sway over people’s lives, shaping their choices and decisions.
- Why is the number 4 considered unlucky in China? The number 4 is considered unlucky in China due to its homonymic association with the Chinese word for death. The pronunciation similarity between “4” and “death” creates a negative connotation and leads people to avoid this number.
- Why is the number 8 considered lucky in China? The number 8 is considered lucky in China because its pronunciation is similar to the word for prosperity. Custom phone numbers or license plates with multiple eights are believed to bring good fortune.
- Why is the number 13 considered unlucky in the US? The number 13 is considered unlucky in the US due to various superstitions. Norse mythology and Christian beliefs contribute to the negative connotation of the number. Events like the Last Supper, where Judas, the betraying disciple, was the 13th guest, further solidify the superstition.
- What are some other feared numbers around the world? Besides 4 and 13, other feared numbers include 17 and 666. Heptadekaphobia is the fear of the number 17, while hexakosiolhexakontahexaphobia is the fear of the number 666.
- Why is the number 7 considered lucky in the US? The number 7 is considered lucky in the US for various reasons. In Christianity, God is believed to have created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th, making it a sacred number. Additionally, it equates to the number of days in a week, continents on Earth, and the digits in an American phone number, among other things.