Approximately 60 million people around the world fear the times when the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday.
It’s a fear known as friggatriskaidekaphobia – a term derived from the name of the Norse goddess, Frigga, which is how Friday got its name.
There are many different explanations as to why Friday the 13th became such a feared day, including myths dealing with Norse legends, the Babylon Code of Hammurabi (the 13th law was omitted, revealing that many ancient cultures feared the number 13), and the Last Supper (Judas, the 13th apostle at the table, dies).
Another theory why 13 is feared is because it comes after 12, which shows wholeness – 12 months in a year, 12 zodiac signs, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 tribes of Israel.
And some believe it’s a modern day invention – noting that references to the day as ominous are nearly non-existent before Thomas W. Lawson published the popular novel “Friday, the Thirteenth” in 1907 about a stockbroker that caused a catastrophic panic on Wall Street.
So, where does the ‘Friday’ part of ‘Friday the 13th‘ come in? This fear is often explained as being rooted in the Bible – when Jesus was believed to be crucified, when Cain killed his brother Abel, and when Eve tempted Adam.
Some superstitions involving Friday the 13th include:
– “Do not wear black or you will have bad luck.”
– If you have dinner with 13 people on this day, one of them will die within the year.
– A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky in life.
While this fear may seem ridiculous to many, there are whole institutions that avoid the number 13. Have you ever noticed that many hospitals and hotels don’t have a 13th floor? Some cities don’t have a 13th street and some airports do not have a 13th gate.
Are you superstitious about Friday the 13th?