For the third time this year, Friday the 13th is quickly approaching us. For those who are superstitious, the third Friday the 13th in the year is considered to be even more threatening. But to those of you who are not, this coming Friday is just another on the calendar and the start of the weekend.
Being an optimistic bunch and not at all superstitious, the team at printed.com wanted to find out a little more about Friday 13th. Here are some of the facts we found, and we think that they show Friday 13th is really nothing to worry about.
- The number 13 was considered irregular and was considered to counter balance the completeness of its neighbour 12, which is considered to be the number of completeness, represented in the twelve months of the year, twelve disciples of Jesus, twelve signs of the zodiac and the twelve Gods of Olympus.
- Friday has been considered to be an unlucky day, dating back to the 14th century, the Canterbury Tales tells us it was deemed unlucky to start a journey or a project on Friday.
- Speculation about Friday can be linked to a biblical meaning, as Friday is supposedly the day Eve tempted Adam and also believed to be the day in which Jesus was crucified.
- The association of the day along with the number 13 didn’t seem to exist until the early 20th century. It was then, in 1907, when Thomas Lawson published a book called Friday 13th where the story centres around the tale of a businessman who attempts to crash the stock market on the unluckiest day of the month.
- Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13, Napoleon and President Herbert Hoover were said to be sufferers while Franklin D Roosevelt would not travel on the thirteenth day of the month or host thirteen guests at a meal.
- The Thirteenth diner has also been considered unlucky, since before The Last Supper. In Norse Mythology, Loki, the God of mischief, arrived at a dinner with the other twelve gods; at the dinner, Loki had Hoder, the blind god of darkness, kill Balder, the god of joy and gladness. When Balder died, the Earth plunged into darkness, making the 13th guest very unlucky.
- In some restaurants in Paris, it’s possible to hire a ‘Quatorzieme’, a professional fourteenth dinner guest, to avoid repeating such a mishap.
- The arrest and execution of the Knights Templar on a Friday 13th in 1307, was popularised by Dan Brown in his novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’. But had not been proven to have any association with the superstition behind Friday 13th until then.
- Independent horror film ‘Friday 13th’ was released in 1980 and despite a budget of only $550,000, it grossed $39.7m worldwide. Four of the ‘Friday 13th’ films were released on a Friday 13th.
- Famous people born on a Friday 13th include Samuel Beckett, Margaret Thatcher, Fidel Castro, Steve Buscemi and the Olsen Twins. Lucky or unlucky, take it as you will.
- Many Hospitals do not have a room 13, many hotels do not have a thirteenth floor and many airports omit a gate 13.
- According to the British Medical Journal, there is a significant increase in traffic related accidents when the date is Friday 13th.
- More than 600 million people worldwide claim to be affected by Friday 13th, some people won’t even get out of bed with many others avoiding cars.
Take what you will from our research; is Friday the 13th unlucky for you? let's put it to the test. printed.com are offering three £13 vouchers for the best Friday 13th horror story. If you have a story of something seriously unlucky that has happened to you on Friday 13th that will make us seriously reconsider being superstitious about this day, we want to know.
If you want to be involved just add your entry as a comment at the bottom of the page, winners will be announced at the end of the day Friday 13th July.