Friday The 13th Superstitions

Published: April 13, 2012

Friday The 13th Superstitions, Friday the 13th is a day that people associate with bad luck. The day strikes three times a year, those being Jan. 13, April 13 and July 13. The spooky part of those three days? They are each 13 weeks apart. So how did approximately 21 million people start to fear Friday the 13th?

According to Donald Dossey, a folklore historian and author of “Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun,” fear over the day stems from “ancient, separate bad-luck associations with the number 13 and the day Friday.” When the two combine they make a “super unlucky day.”

One story shared by Dossey, according to National Geographic is a Norse myth. Twelve gods were said to be having a dinner party when a 13th guest arrived uninvited. The unwanted guest had managed to “arrange” for the blind god of darkness, Hoder, to shoot a mistletoe-tipped arrow at Balder the Beautiful, god of joy and gladness. According to Dossey, when Balder died, “the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned.”

Thirteen being an unlucky number can also be traced back to the Last Supper. Because of 13 people in attendance, unlucky events followed suit.

The number 12 is supposed to be a “complete” number, which makes the next number, 13, suffer. Twelve is a complete number because there are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus,12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel and 12 apostles of Jesus, reports National Geographic. Thirteen is unlucky because it is “beyond completeness,” says Thomas Fernsler, associate policy scientist in the Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center at the University of Delaware in Newark.


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