Friday, January 13, 2012

13 At Last Supper On A Friday

13 At Last Supper On A Friday

Will you change your plans today because of the fear of the date?

It's Friday, the end of work week for millions of Americans. But for an estimated 17 to 21 million in the U.S. it's anything but a day to look forward to because this Friday happens to fall on the 13th of the month.

For centuries the fear of Friday the 13th has haunted many who consider it just a downright unlucky day. Studies show that some people even go so far as to alter their plans for the day, choosing to avoid flying in an airplane, buying or selling stocks or even getting out of bed to face the day.

So just how did all this Friday the 13th superstition get started? According to one theory the superstition was made up of two older superstitions.

In numerology the number 12 is considered the number of completeness, as evidence the 12 months of the year, 12 hours of the clock, 12 gods of Olympus and so on. The number 13, however, is considered irregular.

And history has proven there have been numerous reasons why Friday is considered unlucky. And as far back as the 14th century Friday has been thought to be an unlucky day. In Canterbury Tales, some stories depicted bad things happening on this day which helped advance the superstition.

For Christians, Friday was considered bad luck because it was the day Jesus was crucified. And of course in the 20th century, Black Friday is forever connected to the great stock market crash on a Friday in 1929.

Others point to the superstition as a modern day invention noting that references to Friday the 13th are nearly non-existent before 1907 which was the year Thomas W. Lawson's popular novel "Friday, the Thirteenth" in which an unsavory broker caused a panic on Wall Street on a Friday the 13th.

Whatever the reason for the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th, we'll have to deal with them. Try to enjoy the last day of the work week -- but just in case there is any truth to this being an unlucky day, don't walk under any ladders.

Interesting facts:

  • In the Gregorian calendar, which we use today, this day occurs at least once, but at most three times a year.
  • Any month's 13th day will fall on a Friday if the month starts on a Sunday.
  • The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia. The term was derived from the name of the Norse goddess, Frigga, which is how Friday got its name.
  • In 2011, May is the only month that has a Friday the 13th.
  • In 2012, three months will have a Friday the 13th, January, April and July.
  • Many buildings even today, do not have a 13th floor.