If you are like me and are superstitious, you already know that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day…but do you know why? I didn’t, until I looked further into it. Check out some of the interesting information I came across here…
An unusual three Friday the 13ths fell in 2012, in January, April and July. The good news is that the phenomenon of three Friday the 13ths in the same year will not strike again until 2026.
Since I could remember, every Friday the 13th I stayed home. Unless I had to go to work. Luckily the previous jobs I worked I had off Fridays so I was ‘safe’. Now working from home makes that a lot easier me now! More than 60 million people worldwide are claimed to suffer from fear of the day – known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek. So don’t worry, you are not alone! I can’t say I fear the day, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. As an optimist the anxiety of ‘bad luck’ does not overwhelm my life, but if certain things like breaking a mirror can cause 7 years of bad luck, I am going to be very careful not to break any. It can’t hurt, right?
It is believed that superstitions over Friday the 13th stem from two separate fears – the fear of the number 13 and the fear of Fridays, which both have their roots in Christian theology. Thirteen is the number of disciples at the Last Supper and Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th to arrive. Friday was the day on which Jesus was crucified. However, the Friday before Easter is called ‘Good Friday’.
Other historians suggest the Christian distrust of Fridays is linked to the early Catholic Church’s suppression of pagan religions and women. In the Roman calendar, Friday was devoted to Venus, the goddess of love. When Norsemen adapted the calendar, they named the day after Freya, the Norse goddess of sexuality. These strong female figures posed a threat to male-dominated Christianity, the theory goes, so the Christian church vilified their day.
In Norse mythology, the beloved hero Balder was killed at a banquet by the mischievous god Loki, who crashed the party of twelve, bringing the group to 13. This story, as well as the story of the Last Supper, led to one of the most feared beliefs – having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.
Another Christian legend states that 13 is unholy because it signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil. It is also said that 13 turns in the rope makes a traditional hangman’s noose… anything less would fail to snap a neck.
Wherever the theory of the 13th being an unlucky day came from, many people still refuse to leave their homes to avoid accidents or some other misfortune. Dr. Donald Dossey, of the Stress Management Center/Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, estimates this costs as much as $900m to the US economy alone. Who knew it could have a financial impact? If you believe in superstitions, don’t drive yourself crazy, nothing in life should be taken too seriously!