Deals, nuptials are fine as numbers align

9/9/09 configuration

 
Hetal and Pinky Dave pose with their baby boy born on the 9th day of the 9th month of 2009 at 9.09 am in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. AFPWhile the date looks good in marketing promotions, such as 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 US 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.

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 humour we love so dearly,” Lenz said in a statement. “But whether you are a bona fide cat lady who loves it all, or someone who cannot stand the over-population of cats on the interwebs, we can all agree that cats need a break.” Although most Western countries do not 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, symbolising wealth, during last year’s Beijing Olympics which kicked off on 8/8/08 at 8 pm. The number nine is also auspicious, historically associated with the emperor of China and his robes often had nine dragons.  In Japanese, however, the word for nine is pronouned like the word for agony or torture and so is considered highly unlucky, second only to four, which sounds like death.

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