SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Whether 9/9/09 is deemed lucky or a day to avoid, the rarity of Wednesday’s date has inspired loving couples, restaurants and even a movie studio to mark the occasion across the globe.
While the date looks good in marketing promotions, such a Dominos pizza chain which is offering gift certificates to people turning 9 or 99 on 9/9/09, it also represents the last repeating, single-digit date for almost a century (until January 1, 2101).
The movie “9,” a computer-animated fantasy about life after the apocalypse, has pegged its opening to 9/9/09 while restaurants dotted across the United States are offering special meal deals for $99 or, for recession-hit wallets, $9.09.
In Florida, one county clerk’s office is offering a one-day special of weddings for $99.99 on 9/9/09.
In Britain, where 999 is the emergency call number, the date has sparked a wedding rush, according to the BBC, and is predicted to be especially popular for emergency service workers.
AOL website Urlesque.com, aware that cats are meant to have nine lives, is trying to kill them off on the Internet for at least one day, calling for a web-wide ban on cat-related coverage to protest all the cute online cat photos and videos.
Editor-in-Chief Stephen Lenz said nearly 50 websites had joined the campaign “9/9/09 =^..^= #NoCats”
“Our feline overlords have sneakily solidified themselves as a staple of the interweb humor we love so dearly,” Lenz said in a statement.
“But whether you’re a bona fide cat lady who loves it all, or someone who can’t stand the over-population of cats on the interwebs, we can all agree that cats need a break.”
Although most Western countries don’t pay much attention to auspicious numbers, both China and Japan have strong feelings about the number nine -- but on opposite ends of the spectrum.
The Chinese celebrated their lucky number eight, which symbolizes wealth, during last year’s Beijing Olympics which kicked off on 8/8/08 at 8 p.m.
But the number nine is also auspicious, associated with long life as it sounds like a word for long-lasting.
Nine was historically associated with the Emperor of China and the emperor’s robes often had nine dragons. The imperial dynasties were so convinced of the power of the number that the palace complex at Beijing’s Forbidden City is rumored to have been built with 9,999 rooms.
In Japanese, however, the word for nine is pronounced like the word for agony or torture so is considered highly unlucky, second only to four, which sounds like death.
Some Japanese hospitals don’t have these numbers as room numbers or even floor numbers and All Nippon Airways omits rows four, nine and 13 from its planes, according to travel websites.
But for some the only real significance of the date is the long awaited release of The Beatles’ digitally remastered records and “The Beatles: Rock Band,” the new videogame.
Editing by Miral Fahmy