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KMK: Which Numbers Are Considered Lucky In Korea?

The concept of both good and bad luck is prominent around the world—especially in Asian cultures, says Sydney Chinchanachokchai. In Korean culture, this belief in superstition is alive and well. This is clearly evidenced by the notion that certain numbers are luckier than most. Of course, this also implies that there are several numbers that you should stay away from. So what numbers are considered lucky and unlucky in Korea?

Lucky: Number Eight

Eastern cultures place a lot of importance on wealth and good fortune. They also believe that numbers have important meanings and messages—particularly if they keep on repeating in your life. The number eight is thought to bring in money and luck so Koreans try to book special events like dates, business meetings, and weddings on dates which have a lot of the number eight in it. One of the most popular and wealthy celebrities, G-Dragon of BIGBANG, was born on the 18th of August in the year 1988. It can be argued that with so much presence of the number 8 in his existence, he’s a really lucky fellow.

Unlucky: Number Four

Tetraphobia or the avoidance of the number four is quite real in Korea. The main reason why the number four has a bad reputation is because of its pronunciation in the Sino-Korean language which is quite close to the Chinese word for “death”. As a consequence, you will not see any buildings in Korea that have the 4th floor. Incidentally, there will also be an avoidance of any door numbers and addresses that make use of the number 4. Any person born of the month of April—especially on the 4th, 14th, or 24th of that month are considered to be quite unlucky.

Lucky: Number Nine

The number nine is considered quite lucky by both North and South Korea. For North Korea, it stems from Korea’s liberation from Japanese occupation. According to the story, eight shamans from eight different Korean provinces came together and told Kim Il-Sung that his bloodline was to be forever aligned to the number nine. As such, the founding date of North Korea is September 9. In South Korea, the number nine sounds a lot like the Chinese word for “long-lasting” so it is very popular for businesses and couples.

Lucky: Number Three

The number three seems to be an odd choice for a lucky number as it doesn’t have the same auspicious reputation as numbers nine and eight. However, number three is considered lucky for its practical nature. In Korean structures, it is generally accepted that a three-legged chair is usable and sturdy. Looking at their traditional food culture, a meal must include three side dishes. The number three features to refer to hard-work, practicality, and pragmatism.

Numbers will continue to play an interesting role in how Koreans build their buildings and go about their days. In some cases, the numbers which appear in birth dates and special occasions can be seen as a sign of whether someone is destined for a good life or not. So take care to note if any of these numbers have cropped up in your life and note what it may mean in terms of Korean numerology.

KMK: Which Numbers Are Considered Lucky In Korea? The concept of both good and bad luck is prominent around the world—especially in Asian cultures, says Sydney Chinchanachokchai. In Korean

Significant Numbers in East Asian Culture

University of Arizona

Published on Jun 8, 2009

This is a presentation made by Hyunwoo Jung in one of my classes (Languages & Cultures of East Asia) at University of Arizona. All rights are reserved by the author.

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  1. 1. Ke Peng| Student’s Presentations for Languages & Cultures of East Asia Hyunwoo Jung University of Arizona
  2. 2. The Number That People Like The Number That People Dislike Why?
  3. 3. 八 8(八, bā) 九 9(九, ji ) 六 6(六, liù | lù)
  4. 4. 8(八, bā)’s pronunciation is similar to 發(fā). 發財(fā cái) has the meaning “to earn money”. 9(九, ji )’s pronunciation is similar to 久(ji ). 九 has the meaning “perfect”. 久(ji ) has the meaning “lasts long”.
  5. 5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNbpvdO KuiM This video shows how much significance Chinese impose on lucky number 8
  6. 6. 6(六, liù | lù)’s pronunciation is similar to 流 (liú). 流 (liú) has the meaning “It’s going well ”. Especially 66 has the meaning “It’s going very well”.
  7. 7. It’s because the numbers (8, 9, 6) have the similar pronunciation of the letter which have a good meaning.
  8. 8. 四 4(四, sì) 三 3(三, sān) 七 7(七, qī)
  9. 9. 4(四, sì)’s pronunciation is similar to 死(s ). 死(s ) has the meaning “death”. 3(三 , sān)’s pronunciation is similar 三 to 散(s n). 散(s n) has the meaning “to spread out ”
  10. 10. 7(七, qī)’s pronunciation is similar to 氣(qì) 生氣(shēng qì) has the meaning “be upse 生氣 t”
  11. 11. It’s because the numbers (4, 3, 7) have the similar pronunciation of the letter which have a bad meaning.
  12. 12. 3(삼, sam) 7(칠, chil)
  13. sky 2 => e. ” target=”_blank”> 13. In ancient Korea, ‘3’ symbolized “person” 1 => sky 2 => earth 1+2 = 3 => “sky + earth” = “person” 7 has the meaning “lucky” Lucky seven
  14. 14. Unlike China, it is not always related to the pronunciation. Because of the symbolization that the numbers have
  15. 15. 4(사, sa)
  16. 16. It is because of the same reason as Chinese. 4(사, sa) has the similar pronunciation as 死(사, sa) ( ,
  17. 17. Korean focuses less on the numbers than Chinese. How about Japanese? Japanese rarely care about the numbers. How about US?
  18. 18. Chinese sell the vehicle plate number and the phone number which include a lot of 8, 6. In Taobao.com 1391-880-8888 was sold at $3300 In EachNet.com 135-8585-8585 was sold at $1.2 million The numbers that have 4 might be sold for free.
  19. 19. Previously, in China, people get the car number randomly. Nowadays, the numbers that have 4 are not issued because those who got the number protested.
  20. 20. In China, some hotels use “G” instead of “14” for displaying the floor. 14(一四) has the similar pronunciation with 要死 that has the meaning “to want to die” In Korea, they also sometimes replace 4 to some shapes like star.
  21. 21. In Korea, they have preference for some numbers but they do not sell number like China. Korean care less about numbers than Chinese.
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This is a presentation made by Hyunwoo Jung in one of my classes (Languages & Cultures of East Asia) at University of Arizona. All rights are reserved by the a… ]]>