Why Is Friday the 13th Unlucky? On a day like today, many people around the world will have felt uncomfortable getting out of bed and doing their normal daily routines, all due to superstition, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world. This is called suffering from triskaidekaphobia, a common neurosis that we all know: fear of number 13. But where does this superstitious association with Friday come from?
The truth is, no one is absolutely sure where and when the idea that 13 was a sinister day originated. There is a very wide current that affirms that everything goes back to a Norse myth about 12 gods who dined in Valhalla, the legendary room where the Nordic heroes toasted for eternity until an evil god arrived – although technically lacked cult – Loki, the spirit of fire and number thirteen.
Why Is Friday the 13th So Unlucky?
According to experts, Loki tricked Höðr (the blind god of winter and son of Odin, the supreme god in Norse mythology ) into attacking his brother Balder (the benevolent god of summer who was also Odin’s son) with a spear.
Mistletoe-tipped magic, the only substance that could defeat him. Therefore, number 13 was branded as unfortunate during the mourning period that followed that fact by this 13th unwanted guest.
For some reason, in almost all cultures, the number 12 emerged throughout history as a “complete” number: there are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 works of Hercules, 12 Jyotirlingas or Hindu shrines where Shiva is worshiped, 12 successors of the prophet in Shia Islam and 12 tribes of Israel. In Christianity, Jesus was betrayed by one of his 12 apostles, Judas.
Exceeding number 12 apparently unbalances the ideal nature of things; Because it is considered irregular and disrespectful with the sense of perfection, the number 13 carries the stigma of misfortune and bad luck that we know today.
Friday is mainly related to the accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus, which agrees that it took place on a Friday, the standard day for crucifixions in Rome.
It is true that Hollywood cinema has further increased the legend, moving it away from its original meaning. However, the perpetuation of Friday as an unfortunate day in the United States stemmed from the late 19th-century tradition of celebrating all executions on Fridays;
Friday the 13th became the most unfortunate day simply because it combined two different superstitions into one.
The repercussions of these phobias reverberated throughout American culture, particularly in the 20th century. Most skyscrapers and hotels lack a 13th floor, which specifically stems from the early 1900s trend of buildings in New York City omitting the unfortunate number (although the Empire State Building has a 13th floor). Some streets do not have the dreaded portal number, while for many airports it is also taboo.
The popular films of the Friday the 13th saga were called just like that to take advantage of this threatening fame of the date, not because the filmmakers actually believed that it was an unfavorable day.
So is Friday the 13th really bad? Despite centuries of superstitious behavior, it largely seems like psychological buzz, but it, unfortunately, influences many people’s lives. Superstition is hard to fight.
But Friday the 13th is not a big deal in other cultures, which have their own unlucky days: Greeks and Spanish-speaking countries consider Tuesday the 13th the least fortunate day, while Italians stay away from Friday the 17th. So today, try to get some rest, Friday the 13th may not be so unfortunate after all.
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Popular Myths About Friday the 13th?
In addition to being considered a day in which misfortunes occur, in general, there are a large number of specific myths related to this day that have been consolidated over the years. Some of the most popular are the following:
- A child born on Friday the 13th will have an unfortunate life.
- If you start a long journey on Friday the 13th, you will have problems along the way.
- If you cut your nails on a Friday the 13th, you may cause the death of a family member.
- The ships leaving the port on Friday the 13th are doomed to failure.
- If a hearse passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die.
- Calling the doctor on Friday the 13th is a sign of a fatal illness.
Also, between myth and reality, many buildings, hospitals, flights, and airports omit entrances and floors with the number 13.
Even global consumption falls on dates of Friday the 13th: people avoid investing, shopping, traveling, going to work, affecting the economic sector.
Under the logic of superstition, Friday the 13th could be as lucky as it is unlucky, depending on your perspective. So, instead of being afraid of this mysterious date, try to apply some ritual that counteracts this date or simply do not take importance.