“But, why would you cancel my flight just because it is Friday The 13th ?” I yelled in the phone. My assistant Judy is in her mid-forties and cares a lot about me but this time it was annoying as her superstition will make me miss the bloggers’ conference in which I am invited.
She said, “I feel you mustn’t travel on this dark day.” She is a victim of friggatriskaidekaphobia, “Frigg” is the Norse goddess whom Friday is named after and “triskaidekaphobia” means the fear of “13”.
Many people in America and all over the world fear this day and date combination and avoid travelling, going to work and even getting off their beds. There is a nagging sense of doom and panic on this day and to add to all of this many Hollywood movies have further aggravated the superstition in people.
The incredible facts I came across Friday the 13th while pondering over the day –
- The first documented mention of the day was in the biography of the Italian composer Gioachnio Rossini who died on November 13, 1868 which was a Friday. The first famous American daredevil, Sam Patch died on November 13, 1829 which was also a Friday after an attempt to leap from a height of over 125 ft over the High Falls of the Genessee River in Rochester, New York. Sir Henry Segrave the record-breaking driver died on Friday 13, June 1930 shortly after breaking the water speed record. The long-serving American TV journalist died on a Friday after collapsing in his office on June 13, 2008. The film producer Richard D Zanuck known for his work on the Jaws and Cocoon films and his contributions to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland died of a heart attack on Friday, 13 July 2012.
- The Hollywood movie series, Friday The 13th, has added on to the notoriety of the day. There have been 12 movies to date which were all box-office hits. So, I wonder if it was really unlucky.
- In many Spanish speaking countries, Friday the 13th is a lucky day. Children born on this day is considered lucky.
- Many people have won lotteries on this day. According to CNN,one British couple won $17 million after buying lottery ticket on Friday the 13th.
- Finland has dedicated one Friday the 13th in a year to observe National Accident Day. The day aims to spreading safety awareness in people at work, on the road and at home.
- It is predicted that an Asteroid will safely fly by the Earth in 2029 on a Friday The 13th unlike the forecast done in 2004 when it was predicted that it will collide with our planet.
- It’s also a common belief in many that Friday along with the date 13th is unlucky as per a story in the Bible where Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, has been labelled “the 13th guest” at the Last Supper.
- Egyptians believed that the 13th stage of life is related to afterlife so it was a lucky number for them but after the decline of ancient Egyptian civilization, the number was associated by the fear of death.
- In ancient numerology the number 13 is a number of debt and people born on the thirteenth are ill fated and have to go through many challenges related to work, creativity and expressions.
- The ancient prediction tool of Tarot cards has a Death card as the 13th Card which depicts end of a cycle and shows a forbidding image of a skeleton riding a white horse.
- The symbol of black cat is associated with Friday the 13th giving it a spooky effect as black cats are associated with the supernatural.
- The superstition is also associated by the Norse Mythology. According to one legend, Loke who was the demi god of mischief was not invited at a banquet at Valhalla where 12 other gods were invited. He turned up as an uninvited 13th guest and this led to a lot of chaos and death of good gods.
- Friday the 13th is also the Tulip Day which stands for friendship and love.
For me though 13th or not Friday is very special as it marks the start of the weekend. I believe each day is special and a manifestation of your beliefs so instead of looking for outward omens look for inner signs and symbols and move on with faith.