From lottery numbers to passwords to strange superstitions, lucky numbers are not uncommon things. And this year for York the seeming lucky number that continues to stick to our city is the number eight, stemming from the fact that our city celebrates 800 years as a chartered city. Also lucky for the Chinese, York Minster is now embracing our association with the number eight by offering visitors a tour of the eight wonders of York Minster, with one marvel from each of York’s eight centuries.
You can forget the seven wonders of the world, York Minster is ready to take you on a tour back through the ages of York’s stories, from 1212 to 2012. For each age, tour guides will unveil how the magical number eight is built into the Minster’s past, the history of the number being very closely connected to Christianity.
Casting an entirely new light upon our city’s ancient landmark, the first wonder that generates this later haunting by the number eight is the five sister’s window containing an eight-sided pattern which comes from the 1200s. From kings to bays to coats of arms, the tour continues to illuminate the force of eight that zips through every cranny of the Minster’s history that makes it a real curiosity shop of treasures.
In the Christian religion, the number eight is associated with the entrance into the covenant of God, the Beatitudes and the resurrection of Jesus on the eighth day of the week. It is also of great significance to a number of other religions including Buddhism which uses the Noble Eightfold Path as one of its principal teachings. The number is also though prosperous in China as it sounds like the word meaning to generate wealth. The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics started exactly at 8 seconds and 8 minutes past 8pm on 8 August 2008.
The free 8 wonders of York Minster Tours begin this Saturday 14 July and run every Saturday at 2.30pm until 22 September.