WHY IS FRIDAY THE 13TH CONSIDERED SO UNLUCKY?
Friday the 13th is apparently the most feared day of the year.
According to a British study, there is a 52% increased risk of accidents on Friday the 13th than any other Friday and those with a fear of the 'day' might just be safer staying indoors. Some people are so scared of Friday the 13th that they would never even think of doing things like:
- Getting Married
- Travel on a plane
- Go sailing
- Walking under ladders
- Look or pet at a black cat
- Travel to the 13th floor of a building
- Go to dinner parties
- Start a new project
Some people will genuinely take the day off and stay indoors to avoid these things. Some people even going as far as to give themselves nick names for the day if they have 13 letters in their own. Crazy! Well maybe...
Friday the 13th is actually considered a phobia and is called - Paraskevidekatriaphobia. We promise we didn't just make that up, that's the official name. (We dare you to try saying that with out sounding drunk!) It is the mix of two phobias; one being the fear of Friday and the other of 13. Why would anyone be scared of Friday I hear you ask. Well, there's good reason actually...
THE UNLUCKY FACTS
Lets first start with Friday. Friday is considered bad due to Christian belief, apparently all things bad happen on a Friday in the Bible.
For example, the crucifixion of Jesus, Eve eating the apple and even the 'Great Flood'. Why does God hate Friday's so much? Well, as well as religious beliefs branding Friday as unlucky, there are many other bad Fridays...
Sailors are considered quite superstitious at the best of times and back when Britain 'ruled the waves' even more so. Superstition back then lead to sailors refusing to sail on a Friday. This problem got so out of hand that the British military decided to quash the superstition with a plan. They decided to call a boat the HMS Friday. HMS Friday set sail on a Friday and even had a captain called James Friday! So was the superstition quashed... NO, instead HMS Friday went missing and was never found... oh.
The NUMBER 13
Now onto the the number 13! Well... 13 has always been unlucky by the looks of things, so much so that some buildings actually miss out the 13th floor, roads miss out the 13th house and in America the 13th street and avenue! 13 has been unlucky since man started writing - there is a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla with the mischievous Loki turning up as the uninvited 13th guest and causing havoc. And, of course, at the Last Supper 13 members attended and the 13th to arrive was Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Due to this, it's considered unlucky to have a dinner party with 13 people and if this happens one member of the party will die that year! As well as this dinner fest of unluckiness, 13 is also linked to King Philip IV burning the Knights Templars at the stake on Friday the 13th, and it became known as the day of evil!
DID YOU KNOW?
The 'Friday the 13th' American horror film series featuring ghostly killer Jason helped popularise the idea of it being an unlucky day. The movie franchise ran from 1980 to 2009 although, weirdly, there's only 12 films in the series. Maybe they thought a 13th would be unlucky...?
As mentioned, it's supposedly unlucky to host 13 people at a dinner party. But, in 19th century Paris, this superstition was so feared that it was actually possible to have a career as a 'quatorzième' or 14th guest, available at short notice to make up a less spooky number at the table. What a great job.
This is very odd. The ill-fated Apollo 13 launched at 13:13 CST on April 11th, 1970. The sum of the date's digits (4-11-70) is 13 (as in 4+1+1+7+0 = 13). And the explosion that crippled the spacecraft occurred on April 13th (although that wasn't a Friday). After all that, the crew did make it back to Earth safely, however. Phew.
One of the reasons the number 13 is considered unlucky is because it comes after 12, which is a number of 'completeness.' For example: 12 months in a year, 12 hours in a clock, 12 Gods of Olympus, 12 Zodiac signs, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 days of Christmas etc.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a big fear of 13 and would not travel on the 13th day of any month and would definitely never host 13 guests at a meal. He should have hired a 'quatorzième' perhaps.
There is at least one Friday the 13th in every year, and at the most there are three. The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is 14 months.
In a traditional hangman's noose there are 13 twists of the rope and there are also 13 steps to the gallows. Traditionally, a blade in a guillotine fell from a height of 13 feet. So it's official - getting executed in the olden days was very unlucky (!)
Italians are far more concerned about Friday the 17th, as traditionally 17 is a very unlucky number in that country. In Italy, many buildings do not have a 17th floor, or hotels a room 17. The Italian airline carrier, Alitalia, does not have a seat 17 and Renault sold its "R17" model in Italy as "R177."
DON'T WORRY THOUGH (JUST DON'T BREAK A MIRROR)
So there are lots of reason to fear this day - But don't worry too much, even if you do have to lock yourself away and change your name, it's only one day... just don't break a mirror, that's seven years bad luck!
Let us know your friday the 13th mishaps or happenings and tweet us @reallytvchannel