Thursday Thirteen: 13 Facts about Friday 13
1. The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia. The fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia.
2. Every year has at least one and at most three Friday the13ths. The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months. This year, friday 13 falls in February, March and November.
3. The day Friday and the number 13 have been associated with bad luck for thousands of years, but it is only in recent history that the two have been put together.
4. The reason why this myth developed is because it is generally associated with the fate of Jesus as the 13th guest among his 12 apostles in the Biblical account of the Last Supper. The Bible tells us that one of the dinner guests – apostles – went on to betray Jesus Christ, setting the stage for the crucifixion of Jesus on the next day-a Friday! It was, for many years, designated the day for capital punishment and informally referred to as “hangman’s day.”
5. Friday is also believed to be the day that Adam and Eve is thought to have eaten the forbidden fruit, the same day of the week that the Noah’s Ark Great Flood started, Solomon’s temple fell, and Abel was murdered by his brother Cain
6. The number 13 has also had negative connotations throughout the ages. According to Norse legend, 12 gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla, the mythical hall of the glorious dead who were slain in battle. Loki, the evil god of mischief, crashed the party, bringing the total attendees to 13. He incited Hod, the blind god of winter to attack his brother Balder the Good, the favourite of the gods, with a spear of mistletoe, killing Balder instantly. And the Ancient Romans regarded the number 13 as a symbol of death, destruction and misfortune.
7. A baker’s dozen consists of 13 for a reason! So the story goes a witch near Albany, NY demanded 13 items every time she came in to a particular bakery, and one day the old baker could not afford her extra biscuit. She sneered some strange words at the man, and he suffered terrible luck from then on, until he brought her another 13 rolls.
8. The Turks so disliked the number 13 that it was practically expunged from their vocabulary (Brewer, 1894).
9. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the US are affected by a fear of Friday the 13th. 10.
10. LEGEND HAS IT: Never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams. Don’t start a trip on Friday or you will have misfortune. If you cut your nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow.
11. Black cats are often associated with Friday the 13th. In French Lick Springs, Indiana, a law was once passed requiring all black cats to wear bells.
12. It is not that 13 is considered unlucky everywhere. In the Indian pantheon there are 13 Buddhas, 13 mystical discs surrounding the Indian and Chinese pagodas, 13 snake Gods of the Mexicans.
13. For those born on Friday 13, it is their lucky day according to myth. Some people win large amounts of money through the lottery or buy lucky lottery tickets on Friday 13. According to CNN.com, one British couple bought their winning ticket on Friday 13 shortly after a mirror at their home fell off the living room wall and smashed. The lucky couple won $17 million.