Today's date - the ninth day of the ninth month in the ninth year of the century - has inspired and frightened various people in equal measures.
In Chinese numerology the number 9 represents 'long life', so its triple appearance on the calendar has led a large amount of couples in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Singapore to get married on this lucky day.
In Britain and the USA, where 999 is the emergency telephone number, there have also been many weddings - involving at least one partner who works for one of the emergency services - today. A particular increase in people who wanted to tie the knot for life has been reported from the Scottish border town of Gretna Green, where traditionally marriages can be conducted by a blacksmith.
Even though there are no longer special laws in Scotland that made Gretna Green the place where run-away couples would go to get married in the past, especially when the bride was too young to get married in England or when there was a feud between the lovers' families, the place still attracts many couples who wish to have their wedding in the old smithy.
On the other hand, many suspicious and pessimistic people were in fear of today, as for them 999 is "the number of the beast" and represents 'the devil' and the end of the world. Even in our modern times there are still millions of highly superstitious individuals on this planet, and certain religious groups and sects fuel such superstition further with their own scaremongering.
This brain-washing and incitement of fear is dangerous and destructive. It leads to depression, suicides and even to acts of crime and violence. But fortunately there have - so far - been no news reports of irrational mass-hysteria on this day from anywhere. And although the date is still 09-09-09 in much of the Western hemisphere of the globe, I do hope it will stay this way.
As the day draws to a close in my part of the planet, I am glad to say that we had a very nice and sunny day here today, with nothing special happening, despite the special date.
And - of course - the world did not end today either. This is only going to happen when our star - the Sun - will reach the end of its life in about four million years from now. Until then we should try to make the best of our lives, day by day, regardless of superstitions and numerology.
The Emerald Islander