Today is the first of the three Friday the 13ths this year. Many believe that 13, especially when combined with a Friday, means for a very unlucky day. But did you ever wonder why?
Jaime McLeod, our web editor, did some undercover work and discovered that the reasons aren’t entirely clear. It seems that fear of the number 13 has been so prevalent throughout history that the Greeks even had a special word for it — “triskaidekaphobia.” Fear of Friday the 13th has an even longer name, paraskevidekatriaphobia, or sometimes friggatriskaidekaphobia.
To this day, many people believe it’s bad luck to sit at a table set for 13, a belief that may have gotten its start among the ancient Hindus. Here in the west, this idea was reinforced by the story of the Last Supper, when Jesus announced one of his 12 disciples would betray him. In many communities with numbered streets, 13th street gets skipped. Likewise, there is no 13th floor many high-rise buildings, and in many airplanes there’s no row 13. And in some towns, there are no houses with the number 13. The idea that Friday is an unlucky day of the week is less widespread. This superstition is more recent and likely stems from the tradition that says Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
It’s funny how superstitions like these are started and continued indefinitely. Think about the other superstitions that are supposed to bring you bad luck:
- Breaking a mirror
- Spilling salt
- Walking under a ladder
- Stepping on a crack in the sidewalk (especially for moms)
What others have you heard? And do you worry about Friday the 13th?
Personally I am kind of fond of Friday the 13ths as I was born on one. If you are a little concerned about your luck this Friday the 13, (or if you want to have a little fun with kids or co-workers) be sure to check out our tips on what to do to improve your luck this Friday the 13 (and the next one in April and then July).
Happy, lucky Friday the 13th to you.