By: Sydney D
With this Friday not only comes movies like Happy Death Day and American Satan, but also the dreaded Friday the 13th. No, not the movie, the actual day. Though before you cover all your mirrors and avoid black cats; lets try to find out why Friday the 13th is even considered unlucky, with it’s complicated origin story and multiple myths the day has a rich history.
The fear of Friday of 13th, also known as friggatriskaidekaphobia (frigga-tris-ka-id-e-ka-phobia), dates back to the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages biblical stories were in the mass, and through that the story Jesus’ last supper and crucifixion was shared. In the story of the last supper it is commonly known that there was thirteen people; Jesus and twelve Apostles. After this supper, Jesus was crucified on the following Friday (now known as Good Friday), thus spurring on a biblical bad connotation but also a new superstition. The myth that if thirteen people eat dinner together one will die within a year.
Excluding the biblical side of why Friday the 13th is considered bad luck, there is also the belief that twelve equates wholeness (there are twelve months of the year, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve hours of the clock, etc.), while thirteen is just seen as an outliner. Because the number thirteen is seen in such a negative light some cultures exclude the number all together. For example in Babylon’s code of Hammurabi (dated to about 1772 BC) the number 13 is omitted, and in modern times- in the USA- there is no number thirteenth floor option. Same can be said for street names and addresses and apartment numbers in some areas.
Speaking of modern times; how exactly has the modern age helped contribute to the stigma surrounding Friday the 13th? Well for starters movies such as Friday The 13th and 13/13/13 hugely contributed to the myths through pop culture. Modern T.V shows, movies, and actions such as not having a thirteenth floor in hotels; all help to grow the belief that 13 is a superstitious number and Friday the 13th is pure bad luck.
But there are also good aspects to Friday 13th, for one, the prices of plane tickets lower considerably; as well as the price of buying a house or paying for the ceremonial part of a wedding. In fact, car accidents are most of the time lower on Friday 13th than any other day. This could be a cause of people wanting to stay home, or just an irony that the “unlucky” day is when prices and accidents are low. However, how you decide to view Friday the 13th is completely up to you. Now at least you have a little insight on the myths and origins of the “unlucky” day.
So the question is, are you willing to try to get that good deal on a plane ticket? Or will you still be staying far from camp grounds and late night dinners? Well, either way at least it’s the last Friday the 13th of the year.
A 18-year old who spends most of my time reading and taking photos. Most of what I write here is just things that I personally hope is interesting, important, or at the very least funny.
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