Friday the 13th – What’s it all about?
For as long as I can remember, Friday the 13th has been this superstitious day that bring with it, potentially, bad luck. But why do we all seem to care?
Even in the last week, I’ve heard friends & colleagues talk about something they’re planning to do this Friday, then realise that it’s Friday the 13th, and follow up by saying maybe that’s a bad day to do it. Grown adults from different parts of the world actually said this.
I’m a naturally curious person yet never have given this much thought before. What is it about this day of all days that makes us that little bit more (or a lot more in some cases) apprehensive?
So, for today’s daily blog, I decided to do a quick bit of googling to see what I can find and share with you. To at least give you some facts or history about this spooky day! Here’s what I found. Enjoy!
- The superstition around this day is called paraskevidekatriaphobia
- The fear of the number 13 is called Triskaidekaphobia
- According to Catholic belief (this is news to me btw), the crucifixion of Jesus took place on Friday the 13th
- The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, makes references to the day citing it as a bad luck day to start a journey or a new project.
- Another historical event on Friday 13th October 1307 involved hundreds of Knights Templar were burnt to death in France
- In more recent times, it appears Friday the 13th took on more superstitious significance in the late 19th and early 20th century when a group known as ‘The Thirteen Club’ meet in the US on the 13th of each month and carry out acts that would try to debunk the myth of bad luck. This group grew in popularity and had the opposite effect of popularising the ‘Friday the 13th’ idea
- A book called ‘Friday the Thirteenth’ writing by stockbroker Thomas Lewson was published in 1907 which focused on a stock market crash on this day. It went on to be a best seller and made into a movie again adding more weight to the day holding bad luck
- Another movie, more of a horror type this time, released in 1980 called ‘Friday the 13’, became a box office smash and only further engrained the idea that this day of all days is one you should be very weary of!
- Statistics around the day itself show, from a Dutch research paper, that you’re actually less likely to get injured on Friday the 13th compared to other days. Due to the heightened awareness on this day of impending disaster, people are a bit more cautious
- Another learning I had from this little bit of research is that Friday the 13th really is just a US and English thing! Italy used to be more focused on Friday the 17th, not 13th supposedly and Spanish folks are more concerned about a Tuesday than a Friday.
So, as you dive into Friday the 13th, and do everything you can to avoid walking under a ladder, breaking a mirror, or opening an umbrella indoors, know that it’s probably just as valid to be in fear of Monday the 16th or Sunday the 29th as it is today.
That being said, as I read twitter this morning, and see the election results in the UK, maybe there is something terribly scary about today after all.
Have a safe & lovely Friday!