Luck of Numbers
Superstitions concerning numbers have been around for centuries. Numbers have long been associated with good and bad luck around the world. The best known of all the superstitious numbers is the number 13. However, there are many more numbers that contain superstitious connotations.
The number 13
This number is feared almost world-wide. Some believe the connection stems from Norse Mythology. While eating dinner, a thirteenth and very unwelcome god joined the feast bringing with him mistletoe. Mistletoe killed the much beloved god Balder.
There were also 13 at the last supper, the night before Jesus died. These myths became one: if thirteen people sit to eat, one of that number will die within the next year.
Due to this fear, airlines have no gate thirteen. They also exclude the thirteenth row on airplanes. Hotels rarely have no 13th floor, as well as many other buildings. (The number is jumped from 12 to 14.) Many people will avoid living in houses that have the number 13 for an address. Numerous streets, which were originally named 13th street, were renamed.
Famous horror writer, Stephen King is extremely superstitious of the number 13. He will not stop writing on any page that has 13 in it, or any page that adds up to 13.
Friday the thirteenth is generally believed to be the most unlucky day of the year. Those who believe in this superstition will not even leave their houses. Some people even have a phobia of the day; the clinical term is: paraskevidekatriaphobia. Businesses are thought to lose several hundred million dollars each year from workers calling in sick, less sales, and changes in reservations.
In China, the word 4 rhymes with the word for death. Because of this, very few buildings in China have a fourth floor. If an apartment building has a fourth floor, the apartments on that floor are often the cheapest and usually occupied by foreigners.
666 is the Devil’s number. This number is treated as poorly as the number 13 and is often excluded from hotels, airplanes, and addresses. A law firm in Birmingham, England claim to have bad luck. Their building has the address of 666. The workers claim that not only is the building haunted, but there has already been one very mysterious death. One worker stayed late to continue working and was found the next morning, dead.
Seven is thought to be one of the luckiest numbers in existence. In Japan, there are seven gods of good luck. Around the world, there are seven days in a week, with the seventh day being a day of rest. The seventh son of a seventh son was believed to be extraordinary (though usually this was connected with the belief that they would either turn into a vampire or werewolf).
Odd numbers are often considered to be unlucky by a majority of the world. However, in the practice of Hoodoo, odd numbers are thought to attract luck. A specific, but odd, number of items are used to attract things like attraction, luck, and even love. These items could be roots, stones, or dice. Usually, the items are kept in the numbers of 3, 5, 7, 9, or 13.
The first day of the first month of the year has numerous superstitions connected to it. The most obvious is the thought that what you do that day will be what you will do throughout the year. If you receive money, it is believed that you will have a highly rewarding year monetarily. However, if anything ill befalls you, you will have a hard year.
In Japan, bashing around pots and pans or making other loud noises is thought to help scare away evil spirits so that they don’t follow you through the next year. In Scotland, there is a belief that a person who is the first to step foot through a friend’s threshold will garner good luck throughout the year. In China, it is believed that if you sweep the doorstep on New Year’s Eve, you will sweep away the previous year’s negativity.
However, if you sweep the doorstep on New Year’s Day, in China, you will sweep away the New Year’s prosperity. In Mexico, you should eat twelve grapes on the New Year and make a wish as you eat each one.
Numbers have both lucky and unlucky connotations. Many people recognize numbers like 13 and 666 instantly and avoid those numbers. Numbers have been used in everything from Numerology to predict the future, to movies. Is there a real connection between luck and numbers? Some believe so. Do you?