For many people, Friday 13th is a day that they will take a moment to think about. Could something go wrong today? Where does this superstition come from and is it really such a bad day?
Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, which happens at least once every year.Source: Wikipedia
Friday 13th is a frightening day for superstitious people. A day where once a twenty-two letter word has been made up for paraskevidekatriaphobia. That is a specific fear of Friday the thirteenth. Saturday the fourteenth is a better day because then it is the weekend.
There are several explanations why Friday the 13th could be seen as an accident day.
Perhaps superstition has developed through religion. At the last supper, 13 people sat at the table (Jesus and 12 disciples). Jesus died on a Friday and on this day Judas also hung himself. It is even claimed that Adam was tempted by Eve to eat the apple on a Friday.
Also, this Tarot card deck that was used for divination might have caused the fear of the number 13. The medieval tarot cards contains card 13 that contains the image of a skeleton with a scythe. Although this image was used in the Middle Ages to predict social changes, we later interpreted this card as death
Finally, it is also possible that our superstition comes from Scandinavian countries. Here, thirteen witches would have partyed every Friday night in the company of black cats and brought the necessary calamities. It is also stated that a Norwegian saga about the evil god Loki would have caused superstition. This god came as an uninvited thirteenth guest at a party and plunges the earth into mourning. Of course there are so many fairy tales in which the number 13 plays a major role. The question is whether these stories were created or adapted before or after the superstition arose.
Does the Friday 13th really bring an accident?
If we look at the facts on the basis of reports to insurers, collected by the Center for Insurance Statistics, then this is not so bad. On average, there are slightly more car damage reports on a normal Friday than on Friday the 13th. The number of fire alarms on Friday the 13th is also lower than on a normal Friday. However, it can be said that the average amount of damage on this day is slightly higher than normal.
Perhaps we are all on a Friday the 13th precisely because of the superstition a lot more alert to dangerous situations, which means we prevent damage and are therefore actually safer than on an average Friday.
Other facts about the Friday 13th
- Hotels usually do not have room 13. For aircraft, row 13 is also skipped to avoid panic for convenience. It even goes so far that in high buildings the 13th floor is “skipped”.
- The devil would be present as a thirteenth member in the coven (meeting) of the twelve witches. The number thirteen is therefore called the devil’s dozen.
- Princess Diana rode the 13th pillar of Place de l’Alma when she died in Paris.
- Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the official name of fear for Friday the 13th.
- The word accident number has 13 letters.
- Cultures with lunar calendars and thirteen months do not associate the number 13 with anything sinister.
- Starting number 13 is not used in Formula 1.
- The number thirteen is also called the devil dozen.