Traveling in Sweden, tourists often observe the strange behavior of local residents who suddenly change direction on the street. The culprit for this behavior is the sewer manholes, which are marked with the letters K (clean water and “love”) and A (waste water and unhappiness in love). According to local belief, the number of letters K and A encountered will determine the nature of a person’s love relationship.
In France, there is a belief that stepping on a dog’s “gift” with your left foot is fortunate, and your right foot is bad luck. In Portugal, it is believed that walking backwards is associated with the devil (although probably few people use this method of transportation).
After analyzing these interesting superstitions, let’s turn to the symbolism of numbers in different cultures.
In Chinese culture, the number 4 is considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for death. The Chinese try to avoid this figure, which can cause navigation problems for those who do not know this fact. The number 1 is also considered inauspicious due to associations with loneliness, while the number 8 symbolizes good luck.
Japanese culture also has its own characteristics regarding numbers. The number 4 sounds like “death” (shi) and the number 9 (ku) sounds like the word “pain”. In this regard, the fourth and ninth floors are often missing in Japanese hospitals.
In India, the number 13 is considered lucky, not unlucky as it is in Western culture. This is due to the fact that, according to Hindu beliefs, Lord Shiva created 13 of his incarnations, and each of them has its own characteristics and abilities. Thus, Indian culture treats this number with respect and reverence.
In Ukraine, it is believed that a mirror broken by accident brings seven years of bad luck. However, there are ways to get rid of this negative influence: mirror fragments must be collected and buried at a distance from the house or thrown into the river. Thus, the myths and beliefs of Ukraine are also associated with symbols and numbers.
In the Middle East, the number 5 has a special meaning. It symbolizes the five pillars of Islam, which are the basis of the religious life of Muslims. In everyday life, the number 5 is also associated with protection from evil spirits and negative energy, thanks to the so-called “hand of Fatima” – a five-finger amulet that is often used as a talisman.
In conclusion, folk omens and superstitions associated with symbols and numbers have deep roots in the history and culture of different peoples. They reflect the uniqueness of each culture and show how complex and diverse people’s beliefs can be. By getting to know them, we can better understand each other and respect the differences that make our world so amazing and interesting.
To be continued…