It's Friday The 13th . . . . . Again!

By Meera Dolasia on July 13, 2012

CCSS Word Search

When the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday, it seems to generate an irrational fear in some people. While during most years the two coincide once or at the most twice, this year we have had the misfortune of having three of them. First on January 13th, then April 13th and the Grande Finale, which happens to be today, Friday July 13th! Another odd coincidence this year is the trio are exactly 13 weeks apart - Something that hasn't happened, since 1984.

While most of us shrug it off as just another day, for about 20 million Americans and many others worldwide, this is a day to be feared. In fact that phobia is so real that it has even been designated two rather long names - friggatriskaidekaphobiac and paraskevidekatriaphobia. To make matters worse, within this group is a subset of people called Triskaidekaphobiacs that are simply afraid of the number 13 and try avoid it at all costs.

So who are all this people? Not surprisingly, many work in professions like construction and ship building, where they are subject to injury risks on a day-to-day basis. But what is quite astonishing is that the fear extends to white-collar workers like stock brokers and even, presidents.

Legend has it that former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt feared the date so much that he never traveled on the 13th nor invited just 13 guests to a meal. Even American author and humorist Mark Twain began believing in the power of the date, after he was left hungry as the 13th guest at a party that had catered food for only 12. So strong is the superstition in Paris that diners wishing to avoid bad luck can hire a quatorzieme or professional 14th guest.

So how did this date and day of the week acquire such a bad reputation? While nobody knows for sure, here are a few theories. According to Donald Dorsey, a folklore historian, the fear of the number can be traced all the way back to ancient times, when the Vikings inhabited Scandinavia.

 According to the legend, twelve gods were having a dinner party at Valhalla, the Viking's mythological heaven. Suddenly, an uninvited guest, the mischievous god Loki walked in and instigated Hoder, the blind god of darkness to shoot Balder, the god of joy and gladness.

Friday being unlucky is also rooted in ancient mythology and religion - According to the bible, Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Though the date is not believed to be the 13th, it was following the Last Supper, which happened to be attended by 13 men that included Judas Iscariot, the apostle that betrayed Jesus. Other biblical scholars maintain that this was the day when Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit - Again, the date is a little hazy. The one bad event that is believed to have happened on Friday the 13th, was the slaying of Abel by his brother Cain (The sons of Adam and Eve).

For those looking for modern day evidence, there are the various unexpected mishaps experienced by the astronauts aboard the Apollo 13 spacecraft. Besides being tagged with the dreaded number, it was also the 13th in a series of missions using Apollo specification flight hardware. To make matters worse, the initial launch which had been scheduled for April 11th had to be aborted thanks to a fuel cell explosion. The new launch date just happened to be April 13th, 1970 at 13.13 Central Standard Time!

A more recent tragedy was the sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia on Friday, January 13th, 2012.

Of course, to most of us this is all just a coincidence and the only reason we give the date any credence is because the events happen to occur on this so-called dreaded day. But for many, the fear is quite real.  Experts estimate that businesses lose between $800-$900mm USD on this day because millions of people avoid traveling, going to work and even, shopping!

Do you believe that there is something sinister about the 13th especially, when it falls on a Friday? If so, be sure to add your comments below.

Resources: shorenewstoday.com, urbanlegends.about.com, nationalgeographic.com, vancouversun.com, livescience.com, philly,com

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on tumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
118 Comments
to use your custom avatar.
  • gymnastluv2253
    That stuff is fake.
    • lucky girl11/17/2013
      my lucky number is first name 4 letters second name 6 letters total 10 letters
      • fin10/9/2013
        Its good that my name doesn't have 13 letters!
        • Donkey Kong10/8/2013
          Taylor Swift's lucky number is 13, and she made it REALLY high?
          • hi :)10/7/2013
            my lucky number is 4! :)
            • AwesomeGirl9/22/2013
              @toful3: My lucky number is 35. Don't ask. I'm RANDOM!
              • D1234/2/2013
                Hey talorswift girl in 2006 my brothers birthday was on Friday the 13th
                • Lovedacake3/19/2013
                  I love that day because luck is reversed for me the unlucky days for U are lucky days for me and vise verse.
                  • <3taylorswift1/29/2013
                    intresting...if anyones birthday is on that day, please reply to this reply! haha lol
                    • braxdelax
                      braxdelax9/16/2013
                      mine is.................................................................not!
                    • tofu13
                      tofu131/29/2013
                      Just so happens that 13 is my lucky number

                    Vocabulary

                    credenceinstigatedirrationalmythologicalmythologysinister

                    Geography

                    Paris, FranceScandinavia

                    Most Popular Articles

                    And The World's Favorite Number Is . . .
                    Message In A Bottle Gets Delivered After 101 Years!
                    Get Ready For The First Total Lunar Eclipse Of 2014
                    Think Fairies Are Real? So Does This Professor
                    Surprise! Giant Pandas Love Sweets Too!
                    Is The Five-Second Rule Valid? Depends On Who You Ask!
                    Think Fairies Are Real? So Does This Professor
                    The Virtually Indestructible Water Bear
                    Minecraft As A Mandatory Subject In School? Sweet!
                    Boo Mania Sweeps Over America (And The World)!
                    Are You Ready To 'Gangnam Style'?
                    Video Of The Week - World's Youngest Successful Singer!

                    Latest Comments

                    kofety wrote:

                    minecraft is awesome my friends ...
                    Minecraft As A Mandatory Subject...

                    kofety wrote:

                    it would be kind a creepy
                    Dutch Designer Aspires To Replac...

                    kofety wrote:

                    how will you grow it on a bridge...
                    Dutch Designer Aspires To Replac...

                    Alitar wrote:

                    That is really cool,i wish i cou...
                    Dutch Designer Aspires To Replac...

                    ALA