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Today is 8/8/8 – it’s a lucky date to get married or have a baby

At least in some countries.

Today, August 8, 2008 is a very special date for the German-speaking world. It’s called “Schnapszahl” which can basically be translated as a “multidigit number with all digits identical.” In mathematics “Schnapszahl” is called repdigit or repunit. When a date such as today is a repdigit, it’s considered a lucky date to deliver a baby or to get married. For this reason, government offices all over Germany and parts of Switzerland have been inundated with requests to get married on this day. Hospitals are also expecting to have more mothers scheduled for C-section opting for this date.

In China, where numbers play a big role in daily life, today, 8/8/8, is also special. The icing on the cake is the fact that it also marks the start of the 2008 Olympics. No wonder moms are trying their best to deliver today – there are ways to induce labor, mind you – and doctors have to warn women about the dangers of premature delivery.

The “Schnapszahl” has become especially popular at the start of the millennium with single-digit years (01, 02, etc.) so that each year, there is one special “Schnapszahl” date – January 1, 2001, February 2, 2002, March 3, 2003, April 4, 2004, May 5, 2005, June 6, 2006 (though this – 666 – one wasn’t so popular), July 7, 2007 and today – August 8, 2008 when everybody is scrambling to get married or give birth. And this will go on till December 12, 2012 and then we’ll have to wait for 989 years before the next “Schnapszahl” comes.

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