Friday The 13th: Why It Is Considered Unlucky?
Number thirteen has had a bad reputation for a long time… It’s just beyond completeness (12 months in a year, 12 Labours of Hercule, 12 Gods of Olympus, 12 Signs of Zodiac, 12 Apostles of Jesus…). Some superstitions are rooted in the Bible’s Last Supper guest list: Judas was the 13th guest at the table.
Donald Dossey (founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina) talks about 12 Gods at Valhalla. Loki, the 13th guest, arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. “Balder died and the whole Earth got dark.”
This is how the world is affected by triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number thirteen:
- Many airports skip the 13th gate
- 10, 11, 12, 14… Many airlines don’t have a 13th row
- Many cities in the US don’t have a 13th Street. In Florence (Italy), houses between number 12 and 14 are addressed as twelve and a half.
- No room 13 for many hospitals
- Many buildings have no thirteenth floor
Worst things that happened on Friday 13th
October 13, 1307: Officers of King Philip IV of France massacred thousands of Monks from the Knights Templar.
September 13, 1940: During World War II, five German bombs destroyed Buckingham’s Palace Chapel.
July 13, 1951: Kansas floods.
June 13, 1952: “The Catalina Affair” (A Swedish military plane disappeared over international water in the Baltic Sea).
November 13, 1970: A devastating tropical cyclone in Chittagong (Bangladesh) killed approximately 300.000 people.
October 3, 1972: Andes Flight disaster (Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571).
Jan. 13, 1989: IBM crash (“Friday the 13th virus” infected hundreds of IBM computers in the UK).
October 13, 1989: The 1989 stock market dip (Black Friday, the Dow Jones Index dropped 190.58 points).
September 13, 1996: Tupac Shakur’s death.
October 13, 2006: Buffalo storm in New York (left 400.000 people without power and caused $130 million worth of damage).
January 13, 2012: The sinking of Costa Concordia (coast of Tuscany).
November 13, 2015: Paris Attacks (gunmen and suicide bombers hit Bataclan concert hall, France stadium, restaurants and bars).
Good things that happened on Friday 13th
Here are some of the most positive events that took place on Friday the 13ths:
Friday the 13th, October 1967: the United States adopted its first equal employment act.
Friday the 13th, July 1923: Hollywood sign was unveiled on the side of Mount Lee.
Friday the 13th, August 1899: Director, producer and screenwriter, Alfred Hitchcock, date of birth.
Friday, the 13th, August 2004: the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens (Greece).
Friday, the 13th, Mai 2016: For the first time a Tunisian climber, Tahar Manaï, reached the top of Mount Everest.
And after every Friday 13th, comes a Saturday 14th… Enjoy your weekend!
Read more: 13th Street, the Crime channel