Lucky and Unlucky Numbers around the World

Exploring Lucky Numbers Across Cultures

Last Updated on December 6, 2023 by Avia

Have you ever wondered why some numbers are considered lucky in certain cultures while others are deemed unlucky? It’s a fascinating world we live in, where superstitions and beliefs can shape our perception of something as basic as a number. In truth, numbers carry symbolic meanings and superstitions that transcend mere mathematical significance. In this article, we will journey across different countries to explore unlucky and lucky numbers around the world. So, join us as we uncover why certain numbers are cursed or celebrated.

What Makes a Number Lucky?

In many cases, what makes a number good or lucky is deeply rooted in historical, cultural, and even religious beliefs. Let’s take a closer look at some intriguing examples.

While each culture has its unique interpretation of lucky numbers, it’s important to remember that what may be considered fortunate in one part of the world could be completely opposite elsewhere. These diverse beliefs add richness to our global tapestry and remind us of just how wonderfully varied our world truly is.

Lucky Numbers Around the World

What Makes a Number Unlucky?

Different cultures have unique beliefs when it comes to numbers, and what may be considered lucky in one culture can be seen as bad or unlucky in another. The reasons behind these perceptions are often rooted in historical events, religious beliefs, and cultural superstitions.

David J. Crotty Photography on Etsy

Additionally, different associations can also make a number bad or unlucky, depending on cultural context. For example, while most countries view seven as a universally lucky number representing perfection and spirituality, some African cultures equate it with grief and mourning.

Ultimately though, there is no universal consensus on which numbers are inherently lucky or unlucky across all cultures. But it’s fascinating how cultural beliefs shape our perceptions of numbers. While one society views triple sixes as fortuitous symbols of prosperity and success, another sees them as ominous signs of impending doom. These cultural variations remind us that interpretations can differ greatly based on our unique backgrounds and belief systems.

United States – Lucky Seven

In Western cultures, particularly in the United States, seven is often considered lucky. This belief is deeply rooted in religious and cultural traditions, such as the Bible’s seven days of creation and the ancient world’s seven wonders. Also, if you want to get a bit nerdy, seven is the only number between two and ten that is neither a multiple nor a factor of the others, which adds to its mystique.

Those historic associations are why we still see it in a lot of the modern versions of games of chance. Seven is often a feature in what is referred to as “classics” alongside the other symbols that appear in the US original machines. In a number of slingo bingo games, for example, you’ll see 7s appearing with bells and fruit symbols, just like in the classic slot machines.

China – The Power of Eight

In Chinese culture, the number eight, pronounced “ba,” is considered exceptionally lucky due to its similarity to the word for wealth or prosperity, pronounced “fa”. This belief is so strong that people often go to great lengths to incorporate the number eight into important life events, such as weddings or business deals. The Beijing Olympics, for example, commenced on the 8/8/2008.

Japan – The Sound of Numbers

In the Japanese way of hearing words, the sound of the number “eight” translates to sound like “to prosper” or “to make money.” Alternatively, the number four, pronounced “shi,” is perceived as unlucky in Japan due to its phonetic similarity to the word for death, also pronounced “shi.” In Japan, you often won’t find buildings with level four. Instead, the lift will go straight to level five. Also, many businesses refuse to incorporate the number four into their telephone number or prices.

India – Nine’s Mystical Significance

In Hinduism, the number nine holds special significance. Navaratri, a nine-night Hindu festival, celebrates the divine feminine and the victory of good over evil. Additionally, the number nine is associated with spiritual enlightenment and completeness, which is why it is featured in numerous rituals.

Egypt – The Enigmatic Nine

In ancient Egyptian culture, the number nine was associated with the concepts of eternity and immortality. The belief in the afterlife and the significance of the number nine are reflected in ancient Egypt’s mythology and religious practices. The use of nine as a sacred number can be observed in the nine gods of the Ennead, a group of deities in Egyptian mythology.

Lucky Numbers Around the World

666 Lucky in China – Not So Lucky in Predominantly Christian Countries – Why?

In Chinese culture, the number 666 is often considered lucky and auspicious. This may come as a surprise to many people in predominantly Christian countries, where 666 is commonly associated with evil or the devil. So why this stark difference in interpretation?

According to Chinese numerology, the number six (liù) sounds similar to the word for “smooth” (liú). Therefore, when repeated three times, it symbolizes an abundance of luck and smoothness in different aspects of life. The pronunciation of 666 also resembles phrases like “everything goes smoothly” or “things will turn out well.”

On the contrary, in Christian cultures influenced by biblical references such as Revelation 13:18, which states that “the number of the beast” is 666, this number carries negative connotations. It has become synonymous with evil and represents something to be feared or avoided.

Think Number 13 is Unlucky?

If you assume the number 13 is unlucky, you might want to think again – especially if you’re in China! In Chinese culture, the number 13 is actually considered lucky. It’s associated with good fortune and prosperity.

But why does the West view this number so differently? The superstition surrounding the number 13 can be traced back to various historical events and cultural beliefs. One famous example is the Last Supper, where there were thirteen people present, including Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

In Western countries, Friday the 13th is often seen as an unlucky day. Many people avoid making important decisions or taking risks on this day out of fear that something bad might happen. This belief has become so ingrained in our society that it even has a name – triskaidekaphobia.

The Mystery of Number Three

In China and most of Europe, the number 3 holds a special place as a lucky number. It is believed to symbolize growth, creativity, and harmony. In Chinese culture, for example, the number 3 is associated with good fortune because it sounds similar to the word for “life” in Mandarin.

In Russian culture, the number three is considered lucky and carries a sense of completeness and harmony. This belief is rooted in Slavic folklore and traditions, where trios or troikas are often associated with positive outcomes. For example, the traditional Russian toast “Za Zdorovye” (To Health) is customarily made three times to ensure a prosperous and healthy future.

However, things are quite different in Japan and Vietnam. In these countries, the number 3 is considered unlucky. This belief stems from cultural associations and historical events. In both Japan and Vietnam, there have been instances where significant disasters occurred on dates or years that contained the number 3.

Moreover, in Japanese culture, odd numbers are generally seen as unlucky or incomplete due to their association with yōkai (supernatural creatures) that often come in three sets.

Why is the Number 4 Lucky in Germany?

One reason behind this belief can be traced back to ancient Germanic mythology, where the number 4 was associated with stability and balance. The four seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall) represented harmony and completeness in nature.

Furthermore, numerology plays a role in shaping German beliefs about lucky numbers. In numerology, each number carries its own energy and vibration. The number 4 symbolizes practicality, organization, and hard work – attributes highly valued by Germans.

Another interesting aspect is that many traditional German homes have four sides or “ecken” (corners). This symmetry represents stability and security for families living within these homes.

It’s worth noting that not all cultures view the number 4 as fortunate. In China and Japan, the pronunciation of “four” sounds similar to their word for death – making it an unlucky number.

Lucky and Unlucky Numbers around the World

Frequently Asked Questions About Lucky and Unlucky Numbers Around the World

Are lucky and unlucky numbers based on superstition?

Yes, lucky and unlucky numbers are deeply rooted in cultural beliefs and superstitions. While some may dismiss them as mere folklore, these numbers hold great significance in various cultures around the world.

Why do different cultures have different perceptions of lucky and unlucky numbers?

The perception of luck is subjective and influenced by various factors such as history, religion, symbolism, and even language. What may be considered lucky in one culture could be seen as unlucky in another.

Can lucky or unlucky numbers affect our daily lives?

While belief in lucky or unlucky numbers can vary from person to person, it’s important to remember that they hold no inherent power over our lives. It is our actions and choices that shape our destiny.

Is there any scientific basis for lucky or unlucky numbers?

From a scientific standpoint, luck is often regarded as a psychological construct rather than something tangible or measurable. The concept of lucky or unlucky numbers falls more within the realm of cultural traditions rather than concrete scientific evidence.

How do I determine my own personal lucky number?

Finding your personal lucky number is highly individualized and can vary depending on your culture, beliefs, astrology, numerology studies, or simply through personal experiences associated with certain numbers.

Conclusion About Lucky Numbers Around the World

Lucky numbers are deeply embedded in cultural, historical, and linguistic contexts. Whether rooted in phonetic similarities, spiritual symbolism, or ancient traditions, these beliefs continue to shape the way people approach life. And with that thought-provoking note on lucky and unlucky numbers around the world draws an end to this exploration into cross-cultural beliefs about numerology! Thanks for joining us on this journey through numerical folklore! (WYS) is a trusted Etsy affiliate & Amazon Associate. We also promote certain products we've tested and approved. As such, the website features sponsored products for Amazon or Etsy or other afiliates. Should you make a purchase from a link on this website, WYS may receive a small commission. This website also hosts advertisements. Please see our policy page for further information. Thank you for your purchases, as it contributes to keeping this website online and running.