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What is unlucky in Korea?


In Korea, there are many beliefs and superstitions that are still widely accepted and followed by the people. One of the most interesting aspects of Korean culture is the concept of luck and what is considered to be unlucky. This article will delve into the various things that are considered unlucky in Korea, from numbers to colors, and even certain actions that should be avoided.

Number 4

The number 4 is considered one of the unluckiest numbers in Korea. This is because the pronunciation of ‘four’ in Korean sounds similar to the word for ‘death.’ As a result, many buildings and elevators in Korea do not have a fourth floor or any rooms with the number four.

Color Red

While red is a vibrant and popular color in many cultures, it’s actually considered unlucky in Korea. This is because red is often associated with blood, danger and warning signs. Red ink is also avoided in Korea as it’s believed to bring bad luck, particularly when used to write someone’s name.

Funeral Processions

It’s considered extremely unlucky to come across a funeral procession in Korea. If you happen to see one while driving or walking, it’s customary to turn around and take an alternate route. It’s also important to avoid making any loud noises or gestures during a funeral procession as it’s seen as disrespectful.


When using chopsticks in Korea, it’s important to avoid sticking them upright into a bowl of rice. This action resembles incense sticks that are placed at a person’s grave site, thus it’s seen as bad luck.


Shoes should never be placed on tables or countertops in Korea as this is believed to bring bad luck. Additionally, shoes should always be removed when entering a home or temple as a sign of respect.

Gift Giving

When giving gifts in Korea, it’s important to avoid giving clocks or anything that resembles a clock. This is because the word for ‘clock’ in Korean sounds similar to the word for ‘funeral procession’. It’s also considered unlucky to give sharp objects like knives or scissors as gifts, as they’re believed to cut off a relationship.

Breaking Dishes

Breaking dishes is considered extremely unlucky in Korea. This belief stems from the idea that breaking dishes is a precursor to breaking relationships, and can lead to bad luck in the future.

Changing Seats

It’s considered unlucky to change seats at a dining table in Korea. This is because it’s believed that doing so will cause the person who moved to have bad luck for the rest of the year.

Whistling at Night

Whistling at night is considered unlucky in Korea. It’s believed that whistling at night can attract ghosts or spirits, which can bring bad luck and misfortune.

Black Cats

Black cats are considered unlucky in many cultures, and Korea is no exception. It’s believed that black cats bring bad luck and misfortune, particularly if they cross your path.

Sweeping at Night

Sweeping at night is seen as unlucky in Korea. This belief stems from the idea that sweeping at night can sweep away good luck and fortune, leaving only bad luck behind.


In conclusion, there are many things that are considered unlucky in Korea, ranging from numbers to colors and even certain actions. While some of these beliefs may seem strange or superstitious, they’re still widely accepted and followed by many Koreans. By understanding these beliefs, visitors to Korea can gain a deeper appreciation for the country’s rich culture and traditions.

What is the bad luck color in Korean?

In Korean culture, writing a person’s name in red was considered taboo because it was associated with death and bad luck. This tradition stemmed from a belief that writing a name in red would bring about negative consequences for the person.

Is 7 unlucky in Korea?

In Korea, certain numbers are considered lucky, such as 7, and are believed to bring good fortune. Conversely, there are numbers like 4 that are avoided because they are considered unlucky. This belief is prevalent in Korean culture.

Why number 4 is unlucky in Korea?

In South Korea, the number 4 is often avoided in hospitals, funeral halls, and other public buildings because it is pronounced similarly to the word for “death” in hanja. This is despite the fact that Korean does not use tones to differentiate words.

What does black mean in Korea?

Black is often linked to negative connotations like darkness, death, and night. It is also associated with formality, dignity, and strict rules.

What is lucky in Korea?

In Korean language, the term used to denote “lucky” is 운이 좋다 (uni jota), while 행운이다 (haengunida) is another expression that can also mean “lucky.” Both 운이 좋다 (uni jota) and 행운이다 (haengunida) have the additional connotation of “fortunate.”

Is 9 a bad number in Korea?

Like other cultures in Asia, certain numbers are believed to bring luck and prosperity in Korea. Numbers such as 8, 9, and 3 are often viewed as fortunate.


In Korea, opening an umbrella indoors is considered to be bad luck. This belief stems from the idea that opening an umbrella inside a building can cause accidents and bring bad luck to the household. Additionally, if you receive an umbrella as a gift, it’s considered unlucky to give it back to the person who gave it to you.

Birthday Celebrations

In Korea, celebrating one’s 60th birthday is considered unlucky. This is because 60 years represents a full cycle of the lunar calendar, and reaching this age is believed to mark the beginning of one’s decline. As a result, many Koreans celebrate their 59th birthday as their “official” birthday.

Whale Meat

Eating whale meat is considered unlucky in Korea. This belief stems from the idea that whales are sacred creatures that bring good luck and fortune to those who respect them. As a result, consuming whale meat is seen as disrespectful and can bring bad luck.


In Korea, spilling salt is considered unlucky. This belief stems from the idea that salt was once a valuable commodity, and wasting it was seen as a sign of disrespect. Additionally, spilling salt is believed to attract evil spirits and bring bad luck.

Birth Year Zodiac Signs

In Korea, your birth year zodiac sign can have a significant impact on your luck and fortune. For example, those born in the year of the Tiger or Snake are believed to have particularly bad luck in their years of birth. Conversely, those born in the year of the Dragon or Horse are believed to have particularly good luck.

Romantic Relationships

In Korea, it’s considered unlucky for two people with the same last name to date or marry each other. This belief stems from the idea that people with the same last name are likely to be distant relatives, and romantic relationships between relatives are taboo. Additionally, it’s considered unlucky to get married during the “ghost month” (the seventh month of the lunar calendar), as it’s believed that ghosts and spirits are more active during this time and can bring bad luck to the couple.

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