Watch out! Tomorrow is Friday the 13th! This day is thought by many to be the unluckiest day of the year.
Never will a year will never go by without a Friday the 13th. For a month to have a Friday the 13th, that month must begin on a Sunday.
Fortunately, in 2016 we only have one questionable day. Last year had THREE!. If 2015 was a bad year for you, you can always blame it on the multiple unlucky days.
Very little is known about the origins of the day’s notorious reputation. In fact, there is very little evidence to show that Friday the 13th is, in fact, a truly unlucky day.
Friday the 13th – really it isn’t all that bad
While the majority of us will grit our teeth and muster through the day, Friday the 13th isn’t all bad.
Ancient Mayans considered the number 13 to be sacred so it is entirely possible to turn the tables and make Friday the 13th your super lucky day. It can be as simple as having a good attitude and a relaxed approach to daily life.
Many studies have shown that Friday the 13th has little or no effect on events like accidents, hospital visits, and natural disasters. According to CNN.com, one British couple won $17 million after buying their lottery ticket on Friday 13 – the same day that their mirror at home fell and broke!
In 2008 an insurance study was conducted in the Netherlands to prove that Friday the 13th was no different than any other day of the year. The report included two years of data and actually ended up demonstrating the opposite to what was expected. It was revealed that Friday the 13th is actually a slightly safer day to drive than other days.
Western Culture & Friday the 13th
It seems over the years that Western culture has become ingrained with a fear of Friday the 13th. In other cultures, it’scultures totally meaningless.
Although some of us may be a bit wearier of stepping under ladders or crossing paths with black cats, there a few individuals that experience extreme angst. For that reason activities or lack of activities on Friday the 13th definitely does present a major financial challenge to some businesses. It has been estimated that upwards of $800 to $900 million is lost on that one single day because people refuse to fly, eat in restaurants, buy a house, sign important documents, host a party, apply for a job, get married or act on a hot stock tip. Basically – Friday the 13th has become the day that is NOT business as usual.
EXCEPT FOR HOLLYWOOD! Paramount Pictures has made a fortune thanks to Friggatriskaidekaphobia with the Friday the 13th series of movies. The next and third horror reboot of the film has been pushed back from May 13, 2016 to January 13, 2017. Make note – that will be the next time we have a Friday the 13th.
Friday the 13th is considered to be one of the most successful media franchises created in Hollywood.
In the U.S., an estimated 17 to 21 million people suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia – the fear of Friday the 13th. While many will laugh off the superstitious day, others will remain in bed paralyzed by fear and avoid daily tasks, conducting business or traveling.
According to a study by the North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, the phobia is not uncommon. The word comes from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named, and triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number thirteen.
Triskaidekaphobia – fear of the number 13
The fear of the number 13 (triskaidekaphobia) is actually more widespread than the association OF 13 with the day of the week. One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day.
Doubling up with the number 13 would then produce a double dose of unluckiness. Both Napoleon and President Herbert Hoover suffered from triskaidekaphobia. Henry Ford would not do business on a Friday the 13th and Franklin Delano Roosevelt avoided travel on that day.
How does the world view the ominous number 13 with or without a Friday attached?
- Many buildings and skyscrapers do not have a 13th floor
- Some hospitals avoid labeling rooms with the number 13
- Many airports will not have a gate 13
- Some cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue
- In Florence, Italy, house addresses between number 12 and 14 are addressed as 12 1/2
- When entertaining, some hosts will not allow 13 people to sit at a table – a second table would be set up if there are exactly 13 guests
- In France socialites known as the quatorziens (“fourteeners”) once made themselves available as a 14th guest to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate
- Skippers do not favor going out to sea with a crew of 12 because including the captain that made 13 people on board
- Ancient Babylonian Code of Hammurah omitted the number 13 in its list of laws
- The Knights Templar were arrested on Friday, October 13, 1307
- In the Middle Ages it was believed witches met in covens of 13 – and the 13th member was the devil himself
- On Friday Oct. 13, 1989, Wall Street saw the second largest drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in history. The day became known as Friday-the-13th Mini-Crash
- The Apollo 13 lunar mission was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded
- Australia’s biggest wildfire, Florida’s Hurricane Charley, and Kansas’s “Great Flood of 1951” all occurred on a Friday the 13th
Make Friday the 13th Your Lucky Day
Luck tends to be the result of effort and common sense combined. Sometimes people choose to see things as lucky because they were unexpected and other times we know we create our own luck. How to Create Your Own Luck
- Get out of the bed on the right side (that is, not the left side of the bed)
- Get your most trusted lucky charm out and put it in your pocket for the day
- Tell everyone that 13 is your lucky number
- Pet a black cat. Close your eyes and scratch, listen for the purr. Black cats face terrible discrimination from the superstitious. It still counts if the kitty has white mittens or tuxedo markings
- Avoid useless, purposeless risks
- Clothes worn inside out will bring good luck (well, maybe just your underwear)
- If you have a few minutes to ‘kill’, have a look at these two videos.
Happy Friday the 13th!
It is bad luck to fall out of a thirteenth story window on Friday.
~ American Proverb
(Funny how that works 🙂