Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

Today I spent some time searching the web for information about the superstitious day, Friday the 13th.  There wasn’t any clear cut information on when, how or why the superstition was born.  But I did read some opinions and a few facts on the myth:

~ Some say the myth began to surface at least 1780 B.C.

~ The phrase Friday the 13th was not mentioned in American literature until 1907 but is frequently seen thereafter.

~ This date falls one to three times per year.  There will be three occurrences in 2012, exactly 13 weeks apart.

~ Paraskevidekatriaphobic is the Psychiatric title given to people who suffer from the disorder of a 'morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th'.

~ Some sources say it is the most widespread superstition in the United States.  The number of Americans suffering from this condition may be as high as 21 million, that’s eight percent.

~ Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won’t eat in restaurants; many wouldn’t think of setting a wedding on the date.

~ On Friday the 13th many people around the world avoid travel and surgery.

~ Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue.

~ Many buildings do not have a 13th floor.

~ If thirteen people are seated at a table one of the thirteen will die within a year.

~ Never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams.

~ According to biblical sources, Friday was the day on which Eve offered Adam the forbidden fruit and Jesus was crucified.

~ The Turks so dislike the number 13 that it almost doesn’t exist in their vocabulary.

~ On the streets in Florence, Italy, the houses between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half.

Attempts have been made to debunk the myth that Friday the 13th in unlucky:

~ A 2008 Dutch study found there were fewer automobile accidents, fires and crimes occurring on Friday the 13th, adding the caveat that superstitious would-be victim may simply have stayed out of harm's way.

~ A study in the United Kingdom found that while consistently fewer people chose to drive their cars on Friday the 13th, the number of hospital admissions due to vehicular accidents was significantly higher than "normal" Fridays.
~ One hundred years ago, the British government sought to quell the longstanding superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky. A special ship was commissioned and given the name "H.M.S. Friday." They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday, and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain. To top it off, H.M.S. Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday — and was never seen or heard from again.

Some cultures don't consider Friday the 13th unlucky at all:

~ Ancient Chinese regarded the number 13 as lucky, as did Egyptians in the time of pharaohs.

~ To the ancient Egyptians life was a quest for spiritual ascension which unfolded in stages - twelve in this life and a thirteenth beyond, thought to be eternal life.

~ In many Spanish-speaking countries, instead Friday, Tuesday the 13th is considered a day of bad luck.

~ In Italian popular culture, Friday the 17th (and not the 13th) is considered a day of bad luck.

One Good thing I found mentioned on several sites is that a baker’s dozen is a good thing!

Information and quotes found in this post came from:

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