Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

*cue spooky music*

Are you, by any chance, 'paraskevadekatriaphobic'? If you are, you have an irrational fear of Friday the 13th. Perhaps you're only 'triskaidekaphobic', and fear the number 13 in general. Either way, get thee to a therapist, because today is NOT your lucky day!

What is it about Friday the 13th that makes it so unlucky, hm? (Other than those horrible Freddie Krueger movies. Ick.) Theories abound as to why we fear the number 13, so I did a little digging into the reasons behind this particular superstition. Here are some ancient legends regarding its origin:

Judas Iscariot was the last disciple to arrive at the Last Supper, raising the number of attendees to 13 (Jesus plus the 12 disciples). This betrayer of Jesus also supposedly spilled the salt, which gave rise to another superstition, but one phobia at a time... :)

In a similiar story from Norse mythology, 12 gods were summoned to a banquet in Valhalla. Guest number 13 showed up uninvited: Loki, god of evil.

Ancient Romans associated the number 13 with death and misfortune. According to the Roman clock, there were 12 months in a year and 12 hours in a day, so 13 was seen as a violation of the natural cycle.

To the Egyptians, 13 represented the final rung of the ladder by which the soul reached eternity.

In modern-day times, the unpleasant beliefs and traditions regarding the number 13 continue:

It takes 13 witches to form a coven.

The 13th card in a Tarot deck is the skeleton - Death.

Many buildings do not have a 13th floor. Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue.

It's considered bad luck to invite 13 people to a dinner party - supposedly one of them will die within a year.

But what about good old Friday, everyone's favorite day of the week? (TGIF, people! End of the week and the weekend lies ahead, remember?) Why does Friday get such a bad reputation when paired with the number 13?

According to what I found in my nosing around, it seems as though most of the bad luck associated with Fridays is Biblical: tradition holds Adam bit into forbidden fruit on a Friday; that the Great Flood began on a Friday; the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday; and, of course, Friday was the day of the week on which Christ was crucified.

So while the 'thirteenaphobes' stay in bed with the covers pulled over their heads, and the teenagers gather for late night 'slasher flick' marathons, I'm gonna live dangerously today by venturing to the mall. :) The only slashing I'm interested in on Friday the 13th is slashed prices, and I'm not afraid to venture out on the unluckiest day of the year.

After all, there can't possibly be any truth to a silly superstition like this one... can there?


MarlyMathews said...

How did your day at the mall go? Were you lucky or unlucky in finding great sales?


Terri said...

Alas, Marly... I think I jinxed myself! LOL While happily browsing the sales racks, my nose began to prickle, my eyes began to water and I started sneezing. Luckily, I keep tissues in my purse! I actually had to go home because it just kept getting worse.

In short, I came down with a cold on Friday the 13th. My best friends today will be my jammies and a big box of Kleenex. :)

MarlyMathews said...

Feel better soon, Terri. Drink lots of's supposed to fight bacteria, so maybe it will help to knock out those nasty cold germs.


Michele said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michele said...

Yes, there is, Terri! My computer died again, on Friday the 13th (it was just "fixed" 2 weeks ago)! And now, I have to use this borrowed, cheap, slooooooooow one until mine is returned. :-(

You can't tell me that's a coincidence! LOL


P.S. Hope you're feeling better!

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