Friday the 13th – why is this day thought to be unlucky?

 

So it’s Friday 13th today, which fills some people with a feeling of dread and others who treat it as any other normal day, but where did this superstition originate?

the-last-supper
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

The origins of this infamous day is supposedly from the bible, that Christ was thought to have been crucified on a Friday and at the Last Supper, there were 13 guests present and the apostle, Judas, who betrayed Jesus with the Kiss of Judas, was the 13th person seated at the table. 

Another suggestion is that it originates from an incident on Friday, 13 October, 1307, when Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar, subjected them to torture and force confessions out of them.  There was also a novel published in 1907 by Thomas W. Lawson called Friday, the Thirteenth, which was about an unscrupulous broker who takes advantage of the Friday 13th superstition to create a Wall Street panic on that date. This could have helped spread the superstition…

It has been said that the fear of number 13 is linked to 12 being a number of perfection. There are 12 months in a year, 12 hours on a clock and 12 zodiac signs, 12 Days of Chistmas, making 13 seem like an irrational number.

friday-113th-2The scientific name for the fear of Friday is paraskavedekatriaphobia (phew) which is made up of the Greek words, paraskevi meaning Friday and dekatreis, meaning 13.

The number 13 is often avoided by hotels and airpots, with hotels often missing out floor 13 and airlines have no row 13 on their airplanes. Some airplanes that fly to counries such as Italy and Brazil, do not have a row 17 instead, as this number is considered unlucky in these countries.

So if you try to avoid Friday 13th by staying indoors, or you aren’t worried if you happen to walk under a ladder on this day, just remember that you are no more likely to have an accident on this day, than any other!

 

 

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