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    Lucky Numbers and Superstition Around the World

    Superstition is something engrained in modern society and while many of us don't strongly believe the repercussions of opening an umbrella inside or walking under a ladder, we still find ourselves going out of our way to avoid carrying out these actions.

    For example, certain numbers hold strong meanings for people in different parts of the world, they can represent luck and good fortune or instil phobias and mistrust when they crop up unexpectedly.

    Odds are you will only find one four-leaf clover for every 10,000 normal clovers and so the rarity of finding one increases the popularity of the plant and the number 4 as a 'lucky number'.

    However, the luck of the Irish doesn't have a worldly reach. In East Asian countries, Tetraphobia, the fear of the number four, is a very real phenomenon and involves people actively avoiding instances with the number in their everyday lives.

    Fear of certain numbers in Asian culture typically depends on whether it sounds similar to another word. 4 sounds very much like 'death' and 49 is a particularly unlucky word because it sounds like 'pain until death'. This why you'll find many apartment blocks in Asia simply missing out the fourth floor and in 2010, in Beijing, traffic authorities even removed the number 4 from car number plates.

    The number 8, however, is welcomed in everyday life in Asian countries and those who wish to succeed in business over in China will try to incorporate the number into everything they do, to encourage a better response from potential partners. This is mainly because the number 8 is Ba in Chinese, which sounds similar to Fa that translates to wealth or fortune.

    The number 7, however, is considered by many ancient civilisations as the perfect number and is believed to bring luck to those who use it. This reverence of the number more than likely originates from its religious connotations because it is mentioned in the bible numerous times: the world was created in six days and on the seventh God rested, seven seals in Revelations and seven deadly sins.

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    The number 3 is another number that holds different connotations of luck around the world. Here in the UK if something bad happens we will usually comment that these sort of events 'come in threes'.

    This superstition is fuelled by our need for confirmation of our beliefs; as we grow up hearing these sayings and still being rational people use them as a scapegoat for real fears. It's the same if we break a mirror, we know that we will not be cursed with seven years bad luck but we might still keep one of the broken pieces to try and prevent it. So this is why, if we experience something negative twice, and close together, we will inevitably look for the third - and of course find it, no matter how minute.

    So next time you're out, look for any superstitious reactions to numbers (you won't see the number 13 often for example) or when you're next on Mecca late at night, playing a game of bingo and crossing your fingers that your lucky numbers crop up, just think, there are probably millions of people out there sharing those same numbers and superstitions, for the very same reason.

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