25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (2023)

25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (1)

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Wondering how you can score some luck during your stay in Korea? Here are ways to get lucky and avoid bad luck in Korea!

Yeot is a type of sticky and sweet Korean candy made from glutinous rice. Because it is so sticky it is believed that good fortune will stick on to you. Also Koreans students usually eat this before an exam so that all the knowledge sticks into their heads!

25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (2)

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Do you have a bad habit of shaking your leg without realizing? Then stop! Apparently by shaking your leg it ‘shakes’ off all the good fortune out of you. It’s also quite rude to shake your leg when talking to your elders so it’s best to just stop this habit overall 😉

Do you have a friend who has really big ears? In Korea it is believed that person born with big ears are able to hear the calling of every good fortune there are!

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(Video) Soju is Korean Firewater: Al-Kee-Hol

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Sadly there are no such things as tooth fairies, so rather than hiding your tooth under your pillow, throw them over the tiles of your roof! It is believed by doing that you will get very good luck and fortune.

Did you dream about a certain pig last night? Then what are you waiting for? Buy a lottery ticket! This might be the luckiest day of your life because dreaming about pigs is a lucky omen as they symbolise wealth in Korea.

25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (4)

Source: blog.korea.net

Do you like eating Korean traditional seaweed soup? Even though it has good nutritional benefits it should never be eaten before taking an exam as it brings bad luck! Due to its slippery nature Koreans believe that knowledge will just slip right out of your brain.

25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (5)

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It is early morning and you immediately spot a crow glaring at you as soon as you walk out of the house. Crows in Korea are symbols of bad luck and spotting one in the morning will result in a bad day. In old folklore crows are seen as omens of death…scary.

The equivalent to the western’s unlucky number ‘13’. The number ‘4’ is probably Asia’s most unluckiest number as the Chinese characters of that number is very similar to the word ‘death’. Hence it is tradition to avoid planning big events on the 4th day of the month or sometimes buildings have no 4th floors.

You are writing a birthday card, and the nearest pen you can reach is the red ink pen. The receiving person opens up the card and instead of seeing a happy reaction, the birthday gal (if Korean) will most probably be in shock or offended. A long time ago the names of the deceased were written in red on registers, gravestones and plaques to ward off evil spirits, therefore writing someone’s name in red ink is very bad luck. By doing that it means they will die soon or you want them to die.

Koreans believe that you shouldn’t wash your hair on New Year’s Day as you will wash away all the good luck and fortune down the drain. Also if you wash your hair before an exam you will wash away all your knowledge! The price you pay for being hygienic…

25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (6)

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As you are loading the final boxes onto the truck it starts to rain! Congratualtions! It is believed that the droplets of rain symbolises droplets of fortunes, blessings, and wealth! You will be rich! It’s best to check the weather forecast before moving.

Moving houses? Do you want to make your house super clean so that the new owner will settle in more easily? Well don’t! This is because if you clean everything the bad spirits will realise that you are moving they will cling onto you until you arrive at your new home. If you don’t clean up then you are tricking the spirits that you are still there and by the time you move it is already too late! Punk’d…

Have you ever travelled to Korean traditional markets and you see these big smiley wooden masks? Not only do they make great house decorations but they also act as good luck talismans to bless your home. These masks are usually made from alder wood and are one of the most popular souvenirs to buy in Korea.

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Source: blogs.swa-jkt

A word of advice to girls (and some guys maybe): avoid buying a white colored ribbon. Wearing a white ribbon in your hair is considered very bad luck as the color white symbolises Korean funerals and deaths!

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source: wikipedia

Even though western magpies represent bad luck, if you see a Korean magpie in the morning it is considered to be very good luck. Magpies are seen as bringers of good news, so if you see one good things will happen to you on that day.

So it is your friend’s birthday and you are considering what to buy him/her as a gift. Whatever you do, do not buy someone a clock as a gift as it is very bad luck. As the two Chinese characters of ‘giving a clock’ (to give is 送; clock is 钟) actually means tending to a wake and a funeral.

Especially when eating with other people, avoid sticking your chopsticks into your rice. In traditional Asian culture (not just Korean), people usually stick incense sticks upright in a bowl of sand at funerals for ancestor worship and it is believed to be food for the spirits. Sticking your chopsticks in a bowl of rice reminds people of that. Are you trying to say your friends at the table are already dead? Of course this is only a superstition, but avoid doing it in case you get a big scolding or uncomfortable looks from your friends and family (scary ahjumma is just round the corner T_T)

25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (9)

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Did you dream about your own death last night? Despressing right? But fear not, because in Korean culture dreaming about your own death means you receive good luck as soon as you wake up. Not all nightmares are bad symbols after all…

Did you get invited to a housewarming party? In Korea it is custom to buy the host some presents when you enter their new home. By giving laundry detergent as a gift it will give them good luck! Why? It is believed that the bubbles formed from the detergents symbolises many bubbles of blessings and good fortune.

25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (10)

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It is believed that you should only celebrate your birthday earlier or on your actual birth day. If you celebrate it after it is considered very bad luck. So when you decide to throw a belated surprise birthday party for your friend, think twice!

Just outside of the beautiful Deoksungung Palace lies the Deoksugung path. It is a beautiful path and it is always flocked with couples all year round. However beware, a long time ago, many people were executed in the palace and so if couples walk on the path it will be very bad for their relationship and will be doomed to break up.

25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (11)

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Did you dream that something bad had happened to one of your friends? Well in Korea it is believed that when you wake up, if you talk about that dream to someone before noon, something bad will happen to that person in the dream. Test your patience and try to not talk about it until after lunch…and so you probably would’ve forgotten it by then…hah

Do you have your own personal lucky number? If you are in Korea then add numbers 3, 7, and 8 to your lucky number inventory as these numbers determine many things. For example parents like to set weddings on any date with an ‘8’ in it, or couples that have a 3 or 7 year difference are considered to be the best match.

Pujok are yellow talisman papers which are used in old Korean traditional shamanism. These charms have two purposes involving good luck, and warding evil spirits and bad luck. Usually these talismans are stuck on walls or above doors so that the house can be protected.

25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (12)

Source: lifeinkorea

Have you seen these cute poop toys around Korea yet? Well apparently if you dream of poop it is a sign of good luck. This is because in the olden times farmers used to use poop as a fertilizer which results to better harvest. Therefore similarly by dreaming about poop it means there will be better harvest of good fortune! And these toys are so damn cute!

25 Ways to be Lucky and Unlucky the Korea Way – Seoulistic (13)

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What are the ways to be lucky or unlucky in your country? Let us know in the comments below!

Words by Ken Lee of Seoul State of Mind blog( Get daily updates by following him on Facebookand Twitter)


What do Koreans do for good luck? ›

Many traditional Korean charms are used to get wealth and ward off misfortune. One example of Korean Good Luck Charms is the Pujok, a piece of paper (typically yellow) with symbols and patterns inscribed. The Korean talisman is said to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune.

What symbolizes bad luck in Korea? ›

In Korea it is believed that writing someone's name in red ink denotes threat, bad luck or death. It is also often interpreted as wanting the person dead.

What is the bad luck color in Korean? ›

This is traditionally taboo because the color red to Koreans used to symbolize death. The belief was that if a person's name was written in red, death or bad luck would come soon.

Is 7 a lucky number in Korea? ›

In countries like Japan and China, the favorability of a number usually comes from the way it sounds in the local language. But in Korea, they consider numbers and the meaning of numbers lucky because of its concept. For example, 7 means lucky, and this is why they frequently use it in gambling areas in the country.

What are Korean lucky numbers? ›

Koreans find the number 4 unlucky because it is associated with death. Numbers 3, 8 and 9 are considered lucky numbers, according to the blog, 90 Day Korean.

What is Korea's lucky animal? ›

Monkey. The signature of luck and success is of monkeys in Korea.

What is disrespectful for Koreans? ›

Touching, patting, or back slapping is to be avoided during interactions. In addition, direct eye contact between juniors and seniors should be avoided because it is seen as impolite or even a challenge. Korea is one of the most demographically homogeneous countries in the world, racially and linguistically.

What do butterflies mean in Korea? ›

Butterflies are symbols of pleasure, a life of prosperity, and joy. In traditional Korean art, butterflies are often seen with flowers. When shown together, they have a slightly different meaning. Together, they represent a state of contentment and prosperity.

What is a lucky day in Korea? ›

In terms of the best day for kimjang, traditionally Koreans would choose one of several 'days without son'. 'Son' means 'demon', and so a day without 'son' on the lunar calendar was known to be a lucky day, where good things would happen. For this reason, important events like weddings, moving house — or kimchi making!

What color means love in Korea? ›

Love, passion, and romance are all connected to the color red. It is also linked to war, ruthlessness, and violence. The balance of red and blue has great meaning in Korean culture.

Is red a bad color in Korea? ›

After the Korean War, red came to be perceived as the color of communism, thus gaining a negative connotation, but since the 2002 World Cup, it has become a symbol of passion and the color that promotes social cohesion.

What gifts do Koreans like? ›

Everything from health supplements, teas, and vitamins to red ginseng are great gifts in Korea. Ginseng works well for gifts to Korean in-laws. On that same note, you can also send high-end food products like Hanwoo beef, expensive mushrooms, and wild ginseng too.

What does blood type mean in Korea? ›

Blood type in Korea is not classified differently from ours, and is therefore divided into groups A, B, AB and 0. However, it is believed in Korea that blood type influences one's personality and therefore the way one behaves towards others, much like the zodiac signs.

How old is 11 in Korean age? ›

3. How to Say Your Age in Korean (Updated in 2023)
Birth YearAgeKorean
20159 years old아홉 살
201410 years old열 살
201311 years old열한 살
201212 years old열두 살
86 more rows

What does 3 mean in Korea? ›

Number 3. Naturally, people believe that some numbers bring luck, fortune, and wealth. 3 is one of the luckiest numbers according to Korean superstitions.

What is the luckiest number in the world? ›

Perhaps part of the answer lies in a seminal paper published in 1956 by the psychologist George A Miller called “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two”. Miller claims that it is more than just coincidence that the number 7 seems to be all around us.

What is Korea's national color? ›

The Korean flag is called taegeukgi (pronounced teh-GUK-key). The colors of the flag are red, blue, and black on a white background. The flag stands for the three components of a nation: the land (the white background), the people (the red and blue circle), and the government (the four sets of black bars or trigrams).

What is Japan luckiest number? ›

In Japan, the two main lucky numbers are seven (七) and eight (八). Curiously, unlike four, the reasons behind the two's luck have nothing to do with their pronunciation. Seven is a lucky number in Japan largely because of its significance in Buddhism. Additionally, seven is used with the Seven Gods of Luck (七福神).

What are Korea's lucky Colours? ›

These five colors are blue, red, white, black, and yellow. You will find these colors to be prominent in 'Hanbok' (Korean traditional attire), Korean paintings, musical instruments and festivals, architecture, flags and traditional symbols, and of course – Korean food!

What bird is lucky in Korea? ›

In culture

In Korea, the magpie (까치, "kkachi") is celebrated as "a bird of great good fortune, of sturdy spirit and a provider of prosperity and development".

What is lucky cat in Korean? ›

Maneki-neko are sometimes referred to simply as "lucky cats".

What not to wear in Seoul? ›

Clothing etiquette

While short-shorts and skirts are commonplace for women in Korea's major cities, exposed shoulders and low-cut tops are still considered taboo most places. Summers get hot in South Korea, so loose-fitting t-shirts are a good alternative to tank tops.

Is smiling rude in Korea? ›

Smiling: As well as an expression of glee and humour, smiling can indicate that one is feeling ashamed or embarrassed in Korean culture. For example, a Korean may smile when they make a mistake. Sneezing: Sneezing is considered rude in Korea.

Do Koreans apologize a lot? ›

Basic Etiquette

Therefore, they generally do not require a profuse apology, a 'thank you' or even acknowledgement. Respect is exhibited in different ways.

Is there a Korean Zodiac? ›

There are 12 animals in the Korean Zodiac. These are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. As mentioned earlier, the year of an animal repeats every twelve years, and it follows the order of the animals listed above.

What symbolizes love in Korea? ›

In recent years, a Korean import has become the gesture of choice: the 'finger heart'. Formed by slightly overlapping the thumb and index finger into a heart shape, the gesture is believed to have originated with actress Kim Hye-soo in 2010.

What do ladybugs symbolize in Korea? ›

“When a ladybug lands on you, it symbolizes good luck and good fortune to come,” says Jenelle Kim, DACM, L.Ac, a doctor of Chinese medicine, wellness and mindfulness expert, and author of Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation.

What is Kiss day in Korea? ›

Kiss Day: June 14

Public displays of affection are discouraged in Korean culture, but Kiss Day gives partners an excuse to break free from that social norm.

What is kiss day in South Korea? ›

June 14th: Kiss Day

This is also a good day to confess your feelings to a crush and start a new relationship with a smooch.

What is the Korean baby ritual? ›

Doljabi is a tradition where the baby is placed in front of various items or objects. Then, the baby is encouraged to grab one or two items from the set of objects where each choice symbolizes a certain future of the baby with respect to his or her career or a lifestyle.

Why do Koreans dye their hair red? ›

But perhaps the answer lies in the significance of the color red in Korean culture. According to the National Folk Museum of Korea, “For a long time, the color red has been believed to have shamanistic power for warding off evil spirits or bad luck.

What does purple mean in Korea? ›

Korean. Wealth, Spiritual Awareness. Purple symbolizes wealth and spiritual awareness.

What does blue mean in Korea? ›

Culture and traditional Korean colours

Traditionally, blue symbolises creativity, immortality and hope; white symbolises chastity, truth, innocence and death; red symbolises the sun, fire, production, creation, passion and love; black symbolises existence; yellow symbolises light and essence of vitality [25].

Is it rude to write in red in Korea? ›

Writing one's name in red ink is a cultural taboo in China and Korea as the meaning is traditionally associated with the end of life, indicating death to be exact. In Japan, people also avoid writing names in red for the same reason, but it is not an absolute taboo.

Why is red lipstick banned in North Korea? ›

Red lipstick is considered to be a symbol of capitalism hence it's banned in the country.

What is a popular color in Korea? ›

Korean, Russian, Rumanian, Chinese and Japanese all have white on the top. In the second rank, Chinese has yellow unlike other languages because yellow had been regarded as the emperor's noble color or color of gold. Yellow color is also used as gold in flags of Ghana, Venezuela and Colombia.

What do Koreans love to do? ›

Modern Koreans enjoy gaming, spectator sports, and exploring the outdoors. Social media has also grown, and Facebook is very popular in South Korea. Music is a big part of South Korean culture. There are more than 50 traditional instruments used along with the voice to make popular music.

What Korean girls like as gift? ›

You can think of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, ankle bracelets or rings. But matching jewelry items are even better. Jewelry with a birthstone could be a good idea, too. It tells you something about her so she might want to keep it for a long time.

What do Koreans value the most? ›

Hard work, obedience to family, protection of the family, and proper decorum among family members are very much Korean values, even in the modern world.

What is the rarest blood type in South Korea? ›

In Korea, Rh-negative is considered a rare blood type according to the Korean Red Cross standards, with an incidence of 0.4%; however, pregnancy can lead to several complications among Rh-negative women [10].

What blood type is the healthiest? ›

Of the eight main blood types, people with Type O have the lowest risk for heart attacks and blood clots in the legs and lungs. This may be because people with other blood types have higher levels of certain clotting factors, which are proteins that cause blood to coagulate (solidify).

What is the rarest blood type? ›

What's the rarest blood type? AB negative is the rarest of the eight main blood types - just 1% of our donors have it. Despite being rare, demand for AB negative blood is low and we don't struggle to find donors with AB negative blood.

What is my name in Korea? ›

이름이 뭐예요? (ireumi mwoeyo?)

This is a common and less formal way of saying “What is your name?” You can safely use this phrase with people you meet for the first time, as it is still formal enough to be and sound respectful.

What is the drinking age in Korea? ›

Alcohol. The legal drinking age in Korea is 19 years of age. Although it is legal to drink alcohol in public, disorderly conduct under the influence of alcohol can result in hefty fines and a visit to the police station.

What is a failing grade in Korea? ›

This was the highest percentage recorded in any country. However, this is mainly due to the fact that there is no such thing as a failing grade in Korea, and most graduate as long as they attend school a certain number of days.

What age do Koreans start school? ›

Kindergarten is optional in South Korea and most parents prefer to keep their little ones at home as long as possible. However, at age 6 their child must move on to 6 years compulsory chodeung-hakgyo elementary education.

How long do Koreans go to school? ›

In South Korea, compulsory education lasts nine years and consists of primary and middle schools. *Note that age is calculated differently in Korea. People are considered one year old from the moment they are born, and everyone gets one year added to their age on Korean New Year.

What do Koreans eat for good luck? ›

'Yeot' is a kind of traditional Korean candy, often compared to toffee or taffy, made using hardened syrup. Yeot is traditionally thought to bring good luck before exams.

What is the Korean wishing tradition? ›

세배 (sebae) is a principal Korean tradition where young people kneel on the ground and bow their heads to pay respect to older people and wish them a happy new year. Afterwards, older people often reward the youth with money inside envelopes wishing good luck.

What do Koreans like to receive as gifts? ›

Everything from health supplements, teas, and vitamins to red ginseng are great gifts in Korea. Ginseng works well for gifts to Korean in-laws. On that same note, you can also send high-end food products like Hanwoo beef, expensive mushrooms, and wild ginseng too.

Why do Koreans say fighting for good luck? ›

As was mentioned above, Koreans use the expression 'fighting' to show encouragement and to cheer on someone. 'Fighting' is pronounced as either 화이팅 (hwa-i-ting) or 파이팅 (pa-i-ting) because in Korean there is no letter f sound.

How do Koreans show respect? ›

Bowing and handshakes

Koreans bow to those senior to them both as a greeting and a show of respect. The junior person initiates the bow, bending from the waist to an angle of between 30 and 45 degrees from vertical. A less accentuated bow is returned as acknowledgment from the more senior person.

Why do Koreans have good skin? ›

Skincare is More Important than Makeup

Since ancient times, Koreans have only used natural, harsh-free ingredients for their skincare routines: green tea, “snail slime”, bamboo extracts, propolis, and honey are just some examples of the elements they used and have passed through generations.

What is Secret Santa in Korean? ›

What is 몰래산타? While this project is commonly known as 몰래 산타 (Secret Santa), 1004 (천사) 명의 산타 (1,004 Angelic Santas) is its real name. As its name gives the hint, 1,004 volunteers follow the mission of Santa Claus, by delivering happiness to children on Christmas Day.

When a Korean guy likes you? ›

He will make an effort to spend time with you and may ask you to hang out or do activities together. He may try to impress you or do things to make you happy, like being chivalrous: Korean guys might open doors, pull out chairs, or offer to carry things for their crush in an effort to impress them.

What is the Korean insult for foreigners? ›

Many foreigners pronounce the "g" as "k" -- for instance, "gimchi" is pronounced "kimchi." So Koreans started pronouncing the Korean word foreigner as "oekuk-saram." Koreans who said it because they thought it was a form of expressing friendliness said they never thought it would insult someone.

What do Koreans say when they are mad? ›


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