Another Friday the 13th is upon us and it’s a day that paraskevidekatriaphobiacs dread. It is thought to be an amalgamation of two superstitions – one towards Friday which is considered to be an unlucky day, along with the unlucky number 13.
Why is Friday the 13th unlucky?
Whilst there is no solid explanation for why Friday the 13th sends shivers down some people’s spines there are several thoughts and theories.
Fridays in Britain were once not met with the excitement at the thought of another weekend approaching as they are now but rather doom and despair as it was traditionally the day hangings would be carried out. Ancient Rome used to conduct executions on Frdays too and of course was Christ’s Crucifixion. No wonder Fridays are considered unlucky!
The number thirteen is considered unlucky for several reasons too. To begin with the Last Supper had thirteen people seated around the table and we all know what happened after that unfortunate meal. There were traditionally 13 steps leading to the gallows and in numerology the number 12 is considered that of completeness. The number 13 ruins that balance. Bad number 13.
What is the name for someone who is afraid of Friday the 13th?
Somebody who suffers from Triskaidekaphobia is afraid of the number 13. The name (as my Greek dad will tell you) comes from the Greek (yes, he is like Gus from My Big Fat Greek Wedding) for the words tris (three), kai (and), deka (ten), and phobia (fear).
People who have a fear of Friday the 13th suffer from the phobia called Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Again from the Greek, when broken down you see the term comes from the words Paraskevi (Friday), dekatria (thirteen), and phobia (fear).
Most of us are familiar with superstitions including avoiding walking under ladders and throwing salt over your shoulder but what about the less known ones? Here is a list of some of the weirdest, strangest Friday the 13th superstitions through time.
- If you wed on a Friday your marriage will have a bad outcome. Who out there married on a Friday? What happened? I’m curious.
- When 13 people sit down together to eat one of them will die by the end of the year. This isn’t a good one for us considering there are now thirteen of us seated around the table every evening for dinner given that ten out of eleven children and dad live with me and Mike. Perhaps we ought to remedy that?
- A bird in the house is a sign of death. If you wanted an excuse to get rid of your child’s/significant other’s budgie that keeps shedding feathers and pooping everywhere now is your chance.
- Seeing an ambulance is unlucky. I should imagine it’s even more so if it stops outside your house and the paramedics knock on your door. It could be that someone in your home is having difficulty and you haven’t noticed. Shame on you.
- Avoid inhaling a deceased spirit by holding your breath when walking past a cemetery. Hopefully the cemetery will only be a small one or you may find yourself seeing an ambulance when you finally recover from passing out.
- Avoid cutting your hair on Friday the 13th or someone in your family will die. It’s not a good day for hairdressers then?
- Don’t kill a bee which is trying to enter your home. It means a visitor will soon be calling and killing the bee will mean the visit will end badly or the visitor will not be nice. Bailiffs or mother-in-laws anyone?
- If your right eye twitches there will be a birth in the family. Beware if it’s your left eye though, as that means death in the family instead.
- It is bad luck to say the word “pig” whilst fishing at sea.
- Dropping a comb whilst combing your hair is a sign of disappointment to come. Fortunately for me I only dropped an almost full, huge jar of coffee this morning spilling the contents of almost half of it.
What are your thoughts on Friday the 13th? Do you think it’s all folklore and tales or does it leave you trembling at the thought?