Unlucky number 4?

Oct 27, 2012

I'm not superstitious, but my Korean grandmother was one of the most superstitious people I've ever known.  She would scold me for whistling, leaving the fan on while asleep (fan death, google it), or attempting to kill a daddy longlegs in the house.  Most Korean superstitions are rooted in the fear of misfortune and death.  Probably the most widespread superstition in Asia is the fear of the number four, otherwise known as tetraphobia.

Much like Westerners' take on the number "13," Asians believe that the number "4" is extremely unlucky.  In Asian languages, the number four sounds like the word death.  So, naturally, avoiding the number four means you're doing your part in escaping death.  This superstition is so pervasive, floor number four is even skipped in buildings.  And I feel sorry for those who were born on April 4, 1944.  Multiple fours in a row is like a death wish.

Now you can imagine what I was thinking when I was checking my Etsy stats this week.  4444 admirers and 443 sales!  I can practically hear my grandmother gasp from heaven.  But, so far this week, the most unfortunate thing that has happened is our kitty chewing up my computer's power cable.  Maybe the fact that I survived this ominous numerical event without major tribulation is a testament to how lucky I really am.  I have, after all, left the fan running on many summer nights. 


lamina@do a bit said...

ha ha ha ... that's quite funny really! I think you are quite lucky to get up to those numbers anyway! I am glad nothing terrible happened though! :)

Sally said...

Just checked your stats and now sales at 444 but admirers 4452, so hopefully you never reached the 444, 4444! My mother-in-law is Chinese (or should I just say hubby is? But he's not really as he's a Kiwi, who's parents happened to be born in China). When we got married we ran the date past her 14-11 (we do the day before month!) and no reaction. Wasn't till a couple of years later she said something about the 4 in 14, and hubby said well why didn't you say something at the time, and she said it didn't matter because I'm not Chinese! S:)

Katie said...

Haha Cathy, that's a great story, made me smile a lot. I think that is a LUCKy number, because it means....LOTS! And it's half of 8888 - isn't 88 Chinese lucky number? :)
Katie. XXX

Adrienne Smith said...

I lived in Korea for 6 Months in 2010 and I thought that was the most interesting superstition ever! So much in fact that they would skip the numbers on a floor! Hahah. Us "westerners" would never do such a thing! It really made it interesting trying to find things around Korea sometimes! :) Though, one of my favorite sights to see was a house addressed with 4 in Pyeongtaek, (well, outlying the city), it's door was the most magnificent blue. I assume to ward off being addressed #4!

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