Fabulous Friday 13th
Just why Friday the 13th is a bad-luck date in western superstition is unclear, records of this strange superstition rarely found before the 20th century, though beyond 1900 the notion somehow gained a foothold generally
Fabulous Friday 13th
Believe it or not this year of 2012 is special in terms of Friday the 13th dates, three of them falling in January, April and today, July 13th, this being, spookily, exactly13 weeks apart, 1964 being the last occurrence of such an event.
Just why Friday the 13th is a bad-luck date in western superstition is unclear, records of this strange superstition rarely found before the 20th century, though beyond 1900 the notion somehow gained a foothold generally . Those who have a pathological fear of Friday the 13th are said to suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia - Frigga a Norse goddess after whom Friday is named - triskaidekaphobia fear of number thirteen.
There are two possible root stories that could account for the odd belief. Norse mythology has it that mischievous god of evil and turmoil - Loki, - spoiled the fun of 12 other gods at a dinner party by arranging for blind god of darkness Hoder to shoot a mistletoe-tipped arrow into the god of joy and gladness. Remember also that Judas was the thirteenth member of the party that celebrated the last supper.
Even famous people have their fears, and US president Franklin D. Roosevelt would never travel on the 13th, nor ever play host to 13 guests at any get-together. Even though the general superstiytion was not widespread in medieval times, the combination of Friday and bad luck did make an appearance, in the late 1300s in iconic book The Canterbury Tales.
Many of the things that were bad in biblical times, such as the crucifixion, are said to have taken place on a Friday, and it was on Friday October 13th, 1307 that the instructions were given by King Philip IV of France to eradicate entirely the order of the Knights Templar, hundreds suffered excruciating torture.
Another awful date was Friday 13th, 1521, when Conquistador Hernán Cortés captured Tenochtitlán, capital city of the Inca empire, which he had destroyed, wiping all trace by renaming it Mexico City. Friday November 13th, 1970 saw a massive storm killing over 300,000 people in Bangladesh.
There is no doubt that disasters happen on every other day and date you can imagine somewhere in the world, but for reasons best known to people who are no longer alive to explain it, Friday the 13th has come to be associated with ill fortune to such an extent that many people simply refuse to take any chances at all on that day.
As for me, well I was born on the 13th of the month, and always considered the day a lucky one. How you see it is down to personal choice, but luck is what you make it, at the end of the day, and the hype about the day in question is all smoke and mirrors. I actually like Friday the 13th.