Whether you claim to be on cloud nine or own a cat with nine lives, the number nine has a habit of capturing our imagination. In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings for example, there are originally nine rings of power.
The Fellowship of the Ring consisted of nine companions (pursued by nine ringwraiths) and according to IMDB, during the making of Peter Jackson’s trilogy, Elijah Wood and his fellow Hobbit actors all got commemorative tattoos of the epic production. Wood’s is of the numeral 9.
While popular culture nowadays has given us the Nine Muses, a look back over Greek mythology ensures the original nine muses are remembered as goddesses of the arts and sciences rather than Korean pop ‘sensations’.
In Japanese culture, the number nine is considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for ‘pain’ or ‘distress’. In contrast, Chinese culture considers nine a good number thanks to its similarity to the word ‘long-lasting’ (and incidentally, its association with the Chinese dragon, a symbol of magic and power).
Needless to say, we prefer to align our thinking to the Chinese (along with the daughters of Zeus) and consider our anniversary today, a key milestone of longevity. Happy birthday. Dusted.