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11/12/13 means lots of weddings, lottery ticket buys

While Tuesday's date is a mere fluke of mathematics, many people plan to make 11/12/13 a memorable day.

By Gabrielle Levy
November 12, 2013.
November 12, 2013.

Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Tuesday's date, as many people have noticed, has a a neat ring to it.

It's November 12, 2013, or, in the numerically shortened version, 11/12/13.

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Companies in the wedding industry predicted a huge surge of weddings would take place Tuesday so couples could share a memorable anniversary, and others rushed to purchase lottery tickets, hoping the unique date would bring them luck.

But there's nothing inherently special about Nov. 12, 2013. In fact, it's simple practicality that led us here, when Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 established what we now call the Gregorian calendar to stabilize the date each year when Easter occurred by simplifying the calculation of leap years and shunting the calendar back a few days.

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Other cultures rely on entirely different calendar calculations -- the Jewish calendar means we've reached the 9th of Kislev in the year 5774, while in Iran, Tuesday is the 21st of Aban, 1392.

But there is some science behind why people attribute meaning to notable dates.

"Cognitive scientists have demonstrated that our brains are hard-wired to look for meaningful patterns in the sensory data it collects from the world," said Alan Lenzi, a professor of religious studies at University of the Pacific.

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"Numbers that are already significant to us, such as calendar dates, that also coincidentally fall into an obvious pattern become doubly significant," Lenzi added. "Given the propensity for people to look for significance in particular days and times (e.g. the 'end of the world'), patterns are easily imbued with imaginative meaning."

And for some estimated 3,000 couples, Tuesday will be a particularly meaningful day. That's the number of couples David's Bridal calculates will tie the knot on November 12, a 722 percent increase from the same date last year.

“I had over 100 brides that registered for 11/12/13 to do their wedding,” said Stacey Rywelski, general manager of David’s Bridal Manhattan flagship store. “It’s amazing, considering it’s a middle of the week date. When it’s on a Saturday it’s a given, but the middle of the week blows my mind.”

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In fact, this kind of sequential date will happen just once more this century: Next year, on 12/13/14.

As it happens, Dec. 13, 2014 is a Saturday, and Rywelski said it should "blow things away."

"It's going to break records," she said.

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Sources: [Livescience] [ABC News]

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