Friday the 13th has been a superstitious day for many in the western world, but where did the fear of the number 13, and especially Friday the 13th come from?
But where does all the hubbub about the superstition and unluckiness that surrounds Friday the 13th come from? Scouring through information to find the source, it seems that this was made an unlucky day for the most part by the Christians beginning in the early 18th century. The Christians tie the unluckiness and bad fortune to the last supper and the 13th person being nailed to a cross.
Other sources claim it originates from the stories that surround the Knights Templar arrest and torture that may have taken place on Friday 13, 1307, and others cite that the bad luck dates all the way back to the Norse and Aegir's Feast where Loki was the 13th guest.
The reasons why Friday came to be regarded as a day of bad luck have been obscured by the mists of time according to Snopes.com Fact Check - Old Wives' Tales — "some of the more common theories link it to a significant event in Christian tradition said to have taken place on Friday, such as the Crucifixion, Eve's offering the apple to Adam in the Garden of Eden, the beginning of the Great Flood, or the confusion at the Tower of Babel. Chaucer alluded to Friday as a day on which bad things seemed to happen in the Canterbury Tales as far back as the late 14th century ("And on a Friday fell all this mischance"), but references to Friday as a day connected with ill luck generally start to show up in Western literature around the mid-17th century."
International Business Times has their theory on Friday 13th history, origins, myths and superstitions of the Unlucky Day. "While many will laugh off the superstitious day, others will remain in bed paralyzed by fear and avoid daily tasks, conducting business or traveling. In the U.S., an estimated 17 to 21 million people suffer from a fear of Friday the 13th, according to a study by the North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute."
"The phobia, known as friggatriskaidekaphobia, is not uncommon. The word comes from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess, and triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number thirteen. It is also sometimes called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek Paraskevi for Friday, Dekatreis for thirteen and phobia for fear."
The speculation surrounding the Knights Templar and Friday October 13th - "The popular legend that the end of the Templars took place on a Friday the 13th, and that that is the origin of the bad luck associated with the day, is just as fabulous as that it arose from the 13 Christian apostles (including the traitor Judas) at the Last Supper. The legend of Loki crashing a banquet of 12 Norse revelers in Valhalla was another, later, turn on the fable. But although there are some references to Friday being unlucky in Geoffrey Chaucer’s time (14th century: “And on a Friday fell all this mischance”), there appears to be no reliable reference to the unluckiness of Friday the 13th before the 1800s."
Those, in addition to all the Friday phobias and the number 13 phobias are some of the reasons for the possible origin of why Friday the 13th has received such a bad rap in western society. Personally, black cats are cool, ladders are quite handy, I like salt on my food (and spill it on occasion), I have broken many mirrors and opened my share of umbrellas indoors in my life and I look forward to every Friday the 13th!
- There will be at least 1 Friday the 13th in every year, but there will not be more than 3 in any year.
- Friday the 13th is not seen as a day of bad luck for everyone. In Italy for example, Friday the 17th is considered to be a day that brings bad luck - not Friday the 13th. In fact, the number 13 is thought to be a lucky number!
- In many Spanish speaking countries and in Greece, Tuesday the 13th is seen as a day of misfortune.
- Since 1995, Finland has dedicated one Friday the 13th a year to observe National Accident Day. The day aims to raise awareness about safety—on the roads, at home, and at the workplace.
- Snopes.com: Why Is Friday the 13th Unlucky?
- International Business Times: Friday the 13th
- Freethought Almanac: October 13: Knights Templars and Friday the 13th
- Time & Date: Friday the 13th: 13 Facts About the Unluckiest Day in the Calendar
- Wikipedia.org: National Accident Day (Finland)
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