Archives for January 13, 2012

Superstitions on Friday The 13th

By Maya Pillai (read the full post here)

Though many believe Friday the 13th to be an unlucky day, there are many groups who defy such thoughts and superstitions. Some activities like cutting your hair or nails, shifting to a new house, commencing a new venture, purchasing a new vehicle, etc. are avoided by many on Fridays or on the 13th day of the month. There are many stories and myths attached with this date.

Do the terms triskaidekaphobia and paraskevidekatriaphobia mean anything to you? Have you come across these terms?

Triskaidekaphobia means fear of the number 13.
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th.

Dr. Donald Dossey, an American psychotherapist, coined these terms. There are many people who are treated for these phobias. It is believed that some people would completely cancel or postpone their daily activities if they happen to fall on a Friday-the-13th date and reschedule important business meetings and travel plans to another day. A loss of millions of dollars is recorded on this day. Friday the 13th is the day for many to laze around within the premises of one’s home because of the fear of bad luck striking them if they did venture out.

Legends of Friday the 13th
Ancient Egyptians considered the number 13 as symbol of death. Remember, ancient Egyptians believed in life after death.

According to the Norse myths, once upon a time at Valhalla, the heaven of the Norse Gods, Gods were invited for a party by Balder – the God of Joy and Gladness. There were 12 Norse Gods, including Balder, partying. When the party was in full swing the God of Mischief Loki walked in. He was the uninvited 13th god. He showed his anger by arranging Hoder, the blind God of Darkness to kill Balder with a poisonous mistletoe arrow. It is believed that the Earth plunged into darkness and evil took over the reign. This could be one of the reasons why some people consider number 13 to be ominous and unlucky.

Friday is also considered to be unlucky by the believers of Christianity. There were 13 people at “The Last Supper” (also known as known as the Lord’s supper was the last meal Jesus had with his 12 Apostles).

Beliefs and superstitions that Friday the 13th brings bad luck saw no bounds in the Middle Ages. The historical records say that Jacques de Molay Grand Master of the Templars was arrested on October 13th, 1307 AD – a Friday. Eventually he was executed in 1314 AD. Hence, Friday the 13th, is considered to be an unlucky day in Europe.

Hollywood also did its share in driving the ill-luck association of Friday the 13th deeper into the public psyche with the Friday the 13th movie franchise in which the lead antagonist, Jason Voorhes, a psychotic serial murderer, is mentioned as having been born on this ominous date.