Full disclosure – I was born on a Friday the 13th. It has always been a point of pride for me. I never saw it as spooky, eerie or odd, I always thought it was pretty damn rad. But then there are those that see the day as the opposite, a date to be feared. But why? Do you know? Here are 5 things about Friday the 13th, you can decide if it’s still bad luck or just silliness and when your kid asks why it’s bad luck, well, you’ll have something to tell them.
1) How often does a Friday the 13th happen? Usually about three times a year. If the given month starts on a Sunday, then the 13th will always land on a Friday.
2) There is actually a term for having a phobia of Friday the 13th, it’s called friggatriskaidekaphobia. Yeah, try saying that three times fast! The word comes from Frigga which is the Norse goddess that the day Friday was named after and triskaidekaphobia after the term for having a fear of the number thirteen. .
3) Why 13 and why Friday? The number 12 has always been revered. There are 12 months in a year, 12 hours on a clock, 12 gods of Olympus, and 12 Apostles of Jesus. And when you get to 13? Well that’s trouble, just look at the Last Supper. As for Friday, it’s gotten bad press since the 14th century work The Canterbury Tales and some – in the past- thought Friday was a bad day to start new things or to travel. Other religious folk believe Friday unlucky because that may have been the day Jesus was crucified. There are also theories that it had something to do with the date of the arrest of the Knights Templar, but it’s long story for another time.
4) A study by the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute stated that about 17 to 21 million people in the United States are scared of Friday the 13ths. It’s pretty significant with reports saying that about $800 to $900 million worth of business is lost on Friday the 13th, with people not wanting to fly on that day as well as doing other things.
5) As for it being more dangerous than other days, a Dutch study came to the conclusion that there were actually less accidents Friday the 13ths saying that there are “fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home.”
Are you surprised that the fear of Friday the 13ths has continued?
Photo: Flickr RSII Photography