Lucky Numbers in Korea: A Deep Dive into Korean Superstitions

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Originally posted on May 9, 2023 @ 6:46 pm

In Korea, just like in many other cultures, certain numbers are believed to bring good luck while others are considered bad luck. There are several lucky numbers that are deeply rooted in Korean culture and have significant meanings. In this discussion, we will explore some of the most commonly known lucky numbers in Korea and their meanings.

The Origins of Lucky Numbers in Korea

Korea has a rich tradition of numerology, with certain numbers believed to bring good luck and others seen as unlucky. The origins of these beliefs can be traced back to ancient shamanistic practices, where numbers were used to interpret the world and communicate with the spirits.

The Number 3

The number 3 is considered to be one of the luckiest numbers in Korea. This is because it represents harmony and balance, as well as the three main elements of the universe: heaven, earth, and humanity. It is often used in traditional Korean art and architecture, and is believed to bring good fortune in many aspects of life.

The Number 4

In contrast to the number 3, the number 4 is seen as one of the most unlucky numbers in Korea. This is because it is pronounced similarly to the word for “death” in Korean, and is therefore associated with bad luck and misfortune. Many Koreans will avoid the number 4 in their daily lives, such as in phone numbers, addresses, and even the number of flowers in a bouquet.

The Role of Lucky Numbers in Korean Culture

Lucky numbers are deeply ingrained in Korean culture, and are often used in a variety of contexts, from personal relationships to business transactions. Knowing someone’s lucky number is seen as a way to establish a connection and build trust, while avoiding unlucky numbers can help to prevent conflicts and disasters.

Key takeaway: Korea has a tradition of numerology where certain numbers are believed to bring good luck and others are seen as unlucky, with the number 3 being considered one of the luckiest numbers while the number 4 is seen as one of the most unlucky numbers due to its association with the word for “death”. Lucky numbers play an important role in Korean culture, from personal relationships to business transactions, but there are misconceptions surrounding their use, and it’s important to understand that lucky numbers are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and should be used with caution and sensitivity.
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Lucky Numbers in Relationships

In Korean culture, it is common to ask for someone’s birth year as a way of determining their lucky number. This number is then used to predict compatibility in relationships, with certain numbers believed to be more compatible than others. For example, those born in the year of the tiger are said to be compatible with those born in the year of the horse, as both share the lucky number 3.

Lucky Numbers in Business

Lucky numbers also play an important role in Korean business culture, where they are often used to determine auspicious dates for important events, such as product launches and contract signings. Business cards and company logos may also be designed to incorporate lucky numbers, as a way of attracting good fortune and success.

Misconceptions about Lucky Numbers in Korea

Despite the widespread belief in lucky numbers in Korea, there are many misconceptions and myths surrounding their use. One common misconception is that lucky numbers are fixed and unchanging, when in fact they can vary depending on the context and the individual.

Context Matters

For example, while the number 4 is generally considered unlucky in Korea, there are certain situations where it may be seen as auspicious. In some regions of Korea, the number 4 is associated with the element of water, which is considered to be a source of life and vitality. In these contexts, the number 4 may be seen as a lucky number.

Individual Differences

Likewise, while certain numbers may be considered lucky or unlucky for most people, individuals may have their own unique lucky numbers based on their personal experiences and beliefs. It is therefore important to understand that lucky numbers are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and should be used with caution and sensitivity.

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Other Lucky Numbers

In addition to the number 3, there are several other numbers that are considered lucky in Korea. These include:

  • 6: This number is associated with success and prosperity, as it sounds similar to the word for “wealth” in Korean.
  • 7: This number is believed to bring good luck in relationships, as it represents the seven emotions of love, joy, anger, sorrow, fear, worry, and desire.
  • 8: This number is associated with good fortune and abundance, as it sounds similar to the word for “prosperity” in Korean.

Modern Misconceptions

In modern times, there are also many misconceptions about lucky numbers in Korea. For example, some people believe that all odd numbers are lucky, while all even numbers are unlucky. Others may believe that certain numbers are lucky only in specific contexts, such as when playing the lottery or gambling.

FAQs – Lucky numbers in Korea

What are considered lucky numbers in Korea?

In Korea, different numbers are considered lucky based on their pronunciation and cultural significance. For example, the number 7 (치, “chi” in Korean) is considered lucky because it sounds similar to the word for “go” (also “chi” in Korean), which represents progress and success. Number 3 (삼, “sam” in Korean) is also considered lucky because it sounds similar to the word for “life” (삶, “sam” in Korean), which is considered a blessing. Similarly, the number 9 (구, “gu” in Korean) sounds similar to the word for “longevity” (also “gu” in Korean) and is considered lucky for that reason.

Are there any unlucky numbers in Korea?

Yes, there are certain numbers that are considered unlucky in Korea. The number 4 (사, “sa” in Korean) is considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for “death” (사, “sa” in Korean), which is a taboo subject that Koreans generally avoid. The number 8 (팔, “pal” in Korean) is also considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for “break” (파, “pa” in Korean), which represents the idea of things falling apart or coming to an end.

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How are lucky numbers used in Korean culture?

Lucky numbers are used in various ways in Korean culture. For example, when choosing a phone number, address, or license plate number, people often prefer to use numbers that are considered lucky. They may also use lucky numbers for special occasions such as weddings or business openings. In addition, some Korean people believe that wearing clothes or accessories with lucky numbers can bring good fortune.

How do Koreans use divination to determine lucky numbers?

Divination is an ancient practice that has been used in Korea for generations to determine lucky numbers. One popular method is to use saju, which involves analyzing a person’s birth date and time to determine their four pillars or elements (year, month, day, and hour) and the corresponding lucky numbers. Another method is to use tarot cards, which are used to forecast one’s future and determine lucky numbers based on the symbolism and meanings of the cards. Many Koreans still practice divination today and believe that it can provide guidance and insight into their lives.

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