It's Friday the 13th once again. For many reasons, people feel this is a day of bad luck. Not so for me, 13 is my lucky number. Over the years, I've won prizes and money with this number. Heck, I own a black cat! Tonight, I even go ghost hunting with Virginia Society of Paranormal Education and Research at the Poe Museum down in Shcokoe Bottom. Hopefully, I'll catch Chris Semter of the museum to get some myths about Poe for my myths and legends of Virginia book.
The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear). The term is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a simple phobia (fear) of the number thirteen appearing in any case.
Both the number thirteen and Friday have been considered unlucky:
In numerology , the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve recognized signs of the zodiac, the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve Apostles of Jesus, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.
Friday, as the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified, has been viewed both positively and negatively among Christians. The actual day of Crucifixion was the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew Lunar calendar which does not correspond to "Friday" in the solar calendar of Rome. The 15th day of Nissan (beginning at Sundown) is celebration of Passover.
In the 20th century, only did the superstition receive greater audience, as
Friday the 13th doesn't even merit a mention in E. Cobham Brewer's voluminous 1898 edition of the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, though one does find entries for "Friday, an Unlucky Day" and "Thirteen Unlucky." When the date of ill fate finally does make an appearance in later editions of the text, it is without extravagant claims as to the superstition's historicity or longevity. Though the superstition developed relatively recently, much older origins are often claimed for it, most notably in the novel, The Da Vinci Code (and later the film), which traced the belief to the arrest of the Knights Templar on Friday October 13, 1307.
There is even said by a doctor that 21 million Americans have a fear of Friday the 13th in this day and age. It has been proven that the number of hospital admissions due to vehicular accidents was significantly higher than on "normal" Fridays. Does it keep most of them from ventruing out to work and more? No. Though I wouldn't be surpirsed if they carry a rabbit's foot in their purse or pocket, or something that they believe is lucky for them.
Whatever the case may be for those today, what do you believe? What plans are you making to do today for the 13th--stay home safe and sound or go out as usual? Do you believe in the 13th being a unlucky day or not?