In many cultures, numbers carry symbolic meanings and superstitions. The Italian culture considers the number 17 unlucky. People often omit it from buildings, phone numbers, license plates, and even hotel rooms because they fear it. Let’s explore the cultural significance of the unlucky number 17 in Italy and why it remains a popular superstition.
Origin of Unlucky Number 17 in Italy
The superstition surrounding the number 17 in Italy has unclear origins, but many believe it originated from the Roman numerals.
The number 17 is represented by XVII in Roman numerals, and it can be rearranged to spell “VIXI” in Latin, which means “I have lived.” People often inscribe this phrase on tombstones and associate it with death, giving the number 17 an unlucky connotation.
Superstitions Associated with Unlucky Number 17 in Italy
In Italian culture, people associate the number 17 with bad luck and misfortune, in addition to its connection with death. Many Italians avoid the number 17 and believe that it brings bad luck. Some people go as far as changing their plans or canceling appointments if they realize the number 17 is involved. In fact, they do it.
Some common superstitions associated with the unlucky number 17 in Italy include:
- In Italy, people believe that giving 17 flowers as a gift brings bad luck, so it is best to avoid it.
- People consider the hotel room numbered 17 a cursed room, so it’s better to avoid staying in it.
- Don’t sit at table 17 in a restaurant; it may bring misfortune.
- Some people refuse to turn 17 years old on their birthday, choosing instead to celebrate their 18th birthday.
Impact of Unlucky Number 17 in Everyday Life
The superstitions surrounding the number 17 in Italy are so prevalent that they have a significant impact on everyday life. It is not uncommon to see buildings without a 17th floor or license plates without the number 17. In fact, some cities in Italy have even banned the number 17 from public transportation.
The impact of the unlucky number 17 extends beyond Italian borders, too. For example, the Italian soccer club A.C. Milan retired the number 17 jersey, fearing that it would bring bad luck to the team.
Did you know: Black Cats are believed to bring good luck in Japan?
In conclusion, Italians consider the number 17 as an unlucky number, as it originates from the Latin phrase “VIXI.” Although the superstitions surrounding the unlucky number 17 in Italy may seem irrational, they have a significant impact on everyday life. Whether you believe in superstitions or not, it is important to respect and understand the cultural significance of the number 17 in Italy.
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