If you are superstitious, today is the day you dread the most. It’s Friday the 13th. The day many believe to be the unluckiest ever. People who fear the day and the number think twice before doing anything and everything — be it travelling, meeting people, dining at a friends’ and what not.
But what makes it one of the most dreaded calendar combinations in a year? We tell you 13 facts about Friday the 13th you probably didn’t know (or just needed a reminder!). What is it, why is it feared and what’s the hullabaloo all about.
1) Why is it feared?
Though there is no written evidence that states Friday the 13th is an unlucky day before the 19th century, but according to Catholic belief, there were 13 guests on the table during the Last Supper, before Jesus was crucified. Also, he was crucified on Friday the 13th. Another very popular myth tracing the origin of this day is a particular Friday the 13th that fell in the month of October in 1307, when hundreds of Knights Templar were arrested and burnt across France. Later, writers such as Geoffey Chaucer and Dan Brown only made the fear more real by referring to the day in their books.
2) There is a medical term for the fear of this day
The fear of Friday the 13th is also called ‘Friggatriskaidekaphobia’ or ‘Paraskevidekatriaphobia’. Frigg comes from the Norse goddess of wisdom after whom Friday is named, triskaideka meaning 13, and phobia meaning fear.
3) It comes in threes
Don’t worry, if you fear the day, let us tell you that it can only come thrice in a year at the most. Unfortunately, it’ll come once in a year for sure, so the maximum you go without seeing Friday the 13th is 14 months.
4) It’s not always unlucky after all
Did you know people in Italy actually find the number 13 lucky. In fact, for them the unlucky day is Friday the 17th. Also, in many Spanish speaking countries and in Greece, Tuesday the 13th is considered an inauspicious day.
5) A group was formed to debunk superstition
In the 1880s, the Thirteen Club was formed to debunk the superstition around number 13. Every 13th of the month, 13 members of the group would sit on the table for dinner, do everything that’s otherwise considered ominous — such as breaking mirrors and throwing salt — and record how many members die over time. Eventually, it became a 400-member group, that included a number of US presidents.
6) The bad things that happened
While it may all be just a superstition but it cannot be denied that bad things haven’t happened on the day. Just so you know, the Nazis dropped a bomb on Buckingham Palace on September, 13 1940. It was a Friday.
On October 13, 1989, the stock exchange suffered a major crash. Friday. The day is considered the second most damaging in market history.
Not to mention, there have been many instances of aeroplanes crashing on ‘Friday the 13th’, that the first thing that comes to mind when that happens is to check the date.
7) The good things that happened
Well, all these can be a coincidence too because, to the surprise of many, a lot of good things have happened on the day as well. For instance, the Hollywood sign was unveiled on Friday the 13th, 1923 And let’s face it, it just happens to be one of the most popular signs in the world!
8) Be happy, it’s the only Friday this time
Believe it or not, today is the only Friday the 13th that is to come in 2016!
9) It’s lucky for Taylor Swift
Can you beat this? The day is lucky for heartthrob singer Taylor Swift. She paints 13 on her hand before every show. And she explains why: “I was born on the 13th. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first #1 song had a 13-second intro. Every time I’ve won an award I’ve been seated in either the 13th seat, the 13th row, the 13th section or row M, which is the 13th letter.”
10) You can bargain on Friday the 13th
It has been said that many people are superstitious about travelling on the day, so you could probably check flight tickets and travel the same day, if you are not superstitious, that is.
11) NO to the number 13
Did you know in many high rise buildings, there is no 13th floor, and many hospitals and hotels across the world do not have room number 13?
12) It’s TRENDING today
looking back, Friday 13th was not a good day to return to that summer camp where we accidentally killed that mutant boy all those years ago.
— Robin Ince (@robinince) May 13, 2016
“Morning, sir! It’s Friday 13th. Bad luck day.”
“That’s just superstition.”
“Then you must deserve being mugged! Hand over your wallet!”
— Micro SF/F Fiction (@MicroSFF) May 13, 2016
It’s Friday 13th. A massive unexploded bomb has been discovered in Bath. What could possibly go wrong.
— Miserable Bath (@MiserableBath) May 13, 2016
Happy Friday 13th! Watch out for suspicious black cats walking with purpose. pic.twitter.com/oITPumEHWF
— Hodderscape (@hodderscape) May 13, 2016
13) Today is Friday the 13th…
…which means tomorrow is Saturday the 14th, which means WEEKEND!