Have you ever wondered why Friday the 13th is so unlucky? The Customer Service department did a little digging, and this is what we found

Posted on by Jodi

The origin of fears surrounding Friday the 13th is unclear. There is reportedly no written evidence of Friday the 13th superstition before the 19th century, but superstitions surrounding the number 13 date back to at least 1700 BC. Friday has also long been considered an unlucky day.  One theory hypothesizes that Friday has been considered unlucky because Jesus was crucified on a Friday according to Christian Scripture. Another states that the superstition regarding Friday comes from Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” published in the 14th century, where Friday is considered a day of misfortune and ill luck. In numerous publications in the 17th century, Friday the 13th was outlined as an unlucky day to take a trip, to begin a new project or to have a major life change (such as a birth, a marriage, among other events).

The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen). It is also sometimes called “paraskevidekatriaphobia,” from the Greek “Paraskevi” for Friday, “Dekatreis” for thirteen and “phobia” for fear.

There will be three occurrences in 2012, exactly 13 weeks apart.  According to some sources it’s the most widespread superstition in the United States today. Whether there is any merit to the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th will remain uncertain, but that will not stop millions of people across the world from worrying about the unlucky day.

There are a number of popular myths and superstitions surrounding the day, most famously:

  • If you cut your hair on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die.
  • If a funeral procession passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die.
  • Do not start a trip on Friday or you will encounter misfortune.
  • If you break a mirror on Friday the 13th, you will have seven years of bad luck.
  • A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life.
  • Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck.
  • If you walk under a ladder or if a black cat crosses you on Friday the 13th, you will have bad luck.

 

How many Americans at the beginning of the 21st century suffer from this condition?

According to Dr. Donald Dossey, a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of phobias (and coiner of the term paraskevidekatriaphobia, also spelled paraskavedekatriaphobia), the figure may be as high as 21 million. If he’s right, no fewer than eight percent of Americans remain in the grips of a very old superstition.

I hope we were able to add a little superstition knowledge to your day!

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