Those three numbers happen to represent both my ethnic and national backgrounds: Thai, Chinese, and American. Respectively, these are the three numbers that are each of those cultures’ lucky numbers. Before I delve into why these numbers are important to me, I’ll explain why each is considered to bring good fortune to the cultures they belong to.
Nine is the Thai lucky number for three simple reasons (via Thaizer):
Odd numbers are often considered to be luckier than even numbers with the number 3 being very lucky. However, it is the number 9 which is supposed to bring most good fortune in Thailand. Not only is it 3 x 3, but the Thai word for nine, gao, has special status because it sounds similar to two other important Thai words: Kow-nah can be translated as progress or moving forward whilst the staple food of Thailand, rice, is called khao. The importance given to the number 9 can be seen in a number of diverse ways and the belief cuts across Thai society from the highest to lowest.
Similar to the way Thais value nine because of how closely it sounds to their word for progress, the Chinese find eight to be lucky because of the resemblance in sound to their word for prosper. Here’s wiki to the rescue:
The word for “eight” (八 Pinyin: bā) sounds similar to the word which means “prosper” or “wealth” (发 – short for “发财”, Pinyin: fā). In regional dialects the words for “eight” and “fortune” are also similar, e.g. Cantonese “baat3” and “faat3“.
There is also a visual resemblance between two digits, “88”, and 囍, the “shuāng xĭ” (‘double joy’), a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters 喜 (“xĭ” meaning ‘joy’ or ‘happiness’).
We all grow up learning that 13 is bad, and seven is good! But why has society decided this for us? Whose idea was this? Seven certainly doesn’t sound anything like “wealth,” “fortune,” or “prosper.” After doing some googling, the answer is definitely not as simple as I’d hoped. There are mathematical reasons, cultural reasons, religious reasons, etc. Frankly, there are too many random reasons to name, and they’re rather boring so I’m just going to link you to someone who has done all the work for me [here].
The number 8 has long been my favorite number for reasons such as, it’s the day I was born, it looks like the infinity sign, and it just seems to pop up everywhere I go. After learning about the Thai lucky number 9, I got even more excited because.. well, I shall put it simply for you here:
My birthday: 9/8.
My ethnic background: 1/8 Chinese, 7/8 Thai.
And for kicks… My national background: 7/7, 8/8, 9/9 American!
It is just too darn bad I wasn’t born in 1987!
May you live long and prosperous with whichever number(s) you deem to be lucky.