Friday the 13th: The dreaded day is here. For those who are particularly superstitious, Friday the 13th can cause great stress and even anxiety. Did you know that some people are firm believers of the fact that the day is nothing but a harbinger of bad luck? And that nothing good can ever happen on the day?
Just like last year, the year 2019 has two Friday the 13ths (today), and one on December 13.
Largely a western concept, the superstitions associated with the day have found takers in different parts of the world. Such is the fear that some people are known to be triggered on the morbid day, as they are said to be suffering from paraskevidekatriaphobia — literally meaning fear of Friday the 13th.
If you look at the pages of history, there have been several ill-fated events that have taken place on the day; enough to send the impressionable into a state of panic.
American rapper and hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur, for instance, died on a Friday the 13th — September 1996 — after having been fatally shot at. The Buckingham Palace was bombed by Nazi Germany during World War II, also on a Friday the 13th (September, 1940). Nathan Bedford Forrest of the Klu Klux Klan was born on the day (July, 1821).
Keeping with the reputation of the day, here are some things that believers follow/avoid on the day:
1. Some hotels do away with a 13th floor. They skip a floor entirely, reserving it for storage and maintenance instead. Likewise, some airlines do not have a row 13 inside their aircraft. The most common belief, however, is the that of avoiding ladders or walking under them.
2. The breaking of a mirror — considered inauspicious in many cultures, more so if it happens on a Friday the 13th. Encountering a black cat is a bad omen, as per believers. Opening an umbrella indoors is likely to bring you bad luck, but only if it is black in colour, say believers.
3. Some believe that if you spill salt, you must throw a pinch over your shoulder. Others avoid walking over cracks on pavements. There are also people who avoid saying ‘Macbeth’ on the day, as the scene involving the three witches is believed to have real spells.
4. Most people also avoid putting new shoes on the table, and passing people on the stairs.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines