Do you have a lucky number? Maybe it is the number 7 or 13. Or maybe it is 11, which appears twice in “lucky 7.” Whether we realize it or not, many of us put our faith in numbers; specifically, certain digits that we believe will bring us good luck.
However, when it comes to lucky and unlucky numbers, different cultures have their own beliefs. In Western cultures, for example, the number 13 is considered unlucky while 7 is considered lucky. But, what might be considered one way or the other in one region of the world does not necessarily translate in the same way across the other part of the globe.
Indeed, each region appears to have different superstitions about certain numbers and how they should be interpreted. As a result of the differences that are experienced, let’s take a quick tour around the globe to explore some of the world’s luckiest (and unluckiest) numbers.
China, Japan, and Italy are great examples
China, Japan, and Italy are prime examples of countries with superstitious feelings toward certain numbers as each country has different opinions and views on certain numbers.
For example, in China, the number 8 is considered lucky because it sounds similar to the word for “prosper” or “wealth.” However, the number 4 is considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for “death.”
The number 9 is considered lucky in Japan because it can be pronounced as “kyu,” which sounds similar to the word for “pain relief.” The number 4 is considered unlucky because it can be pronounced as “shi,” which sounds similar to the word for “death.”
However, for Italians, the number 17 is considered unlucky because when written in Roman numerals (XVII), it can be rearranged to spell out VIXI, which means “I have lived” or “my life is over.” The number 13 is considered lucky, though, because it corresponds with the letters M and D, which are the initials for Mary and Jesus Christ. This is something that – as highlighted above – is considered to be unlucky across much of the West; nonetheless, it remains lucky for some cultures.
Eleven & Thirteen
Eleven and thirteen are considered lucky numbers across cultures. In numerology, which is the belief that numbers have mystical powers, eleven is significant because it is a “master number” that symbolizes intuition and spiritual enlightenment. Thirteen has a similar meaning; it is thought to represent transformation and rebirth.
Interestingly enough, both eleven and thirteen are unlucky numbers in roulette; if you play casino roulette, you will notice that they appear on the wheel only once (numbers 1-36 plus 0 and 00), so the odds of them coming up are slim (2.7 percent for eleven and 2.6 percent for thirteen). But do not worry, if either number hits, you will more than make up for your bad luck with your winnings!
Perhaps one of the most famous numbers in the world when it comes down to being considered a ‘lucky number’, the number seven crops up again and again across a variety of different cultures that can be found around the world.
In Western societies, for example, seven is considered a lucky number because it appears repeatedly in key biblical stories, such as Seven days of creation and The parable of the sower scattering seed on seven different types of soil.
However, it is not just in the West, though, as in China, meanwhile, the number 7 is considered lucky because it sounds similar to other Chinese words with positive connotations, such as “arise” and “well-off.” And in India, the number 7 is auspicious because it has spiritual associations; for example, there are said to be seven chakras (energy centers) in the human body, and seven Mothers who protect mankind.
But, while it is considered a lucky number for many, seven is a number that many Russians fear. This is because it is considered somewhat unlucky because medieval Russians believed that demons came out on the 7th day after a person died. As a result, people were scared to leave their houses on that day and many died unnecessarily as a result.
Whether we realize it or not, many of us put our faith in numbers, specifically, certain digits that we believe will bring us good luck. Superstitions are all around us, and while some may seem hard to understand or accept, it is important to remember that they may be influenced by superstitions from cultures all around the world! So, the next time you see someone avoiding walking under a ladder or throwing salt over their shoulder, just think about what they have heard before.