Why is Friday the 13th associated with bad luck?

| David Lewis | History

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Tens of millions of people, if not hundreds of millions, around the globe believe that Friday the 13th brings misfortune, if not disaster. 

In many hotels, the 13th floor is skipped and elevators’ control panels exclude this number. Many people will not sit at a table around 13 diners, nor will close a book on page 13 nor stay in an apartment where 13 people sleep.

On this day, ships do not leave port, suitors do not propose marriage, businessmen do not start new ventures, housewives do not change bedding, nomads stay away from travel, adventurers prefer to stay at home, extreme athletes lower the risk threshold, understanders do not cut their hair or Their nails, lawyers do not sign contracts, workers avoid coming to their workplace and lock themselves in their homes.

This event that occurs on average twice a year even “earned” its own psychiatric terminology: paraskevidekatriphobia (para-squi-daka-tri-phobia).

Which begs the question – why? – There are several versions to the source of this superstition. The most common one refers to the Last Supper of Jesus, which was participated by Jesus and his 12 apostles. A total of 13 diners on Friday, on the day he was turned in to the Romans.

Another tragedy associated with this belief is that on Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip of France ordered the massacre of the Templar Knights, probably because he coveted their huge fortune. 

Norse pagan mythology tells that one of the evil gods barged into a party held in honor of 12 gods. In a quarrel subsequently broke he killed Baldur – God of light and joy – and thus brought an ear of darkness and sorrow.

The Romans attributed the number 13 to death. They believed that the number 12, which is the number of months of the year and hours of the day, symbolizes the natural cycle of life. Thus what goes beyond the number 12, symbolizes the transition to human limitations.

During the 18th century, Her Majesty’s battleship “Friday”, whose construction began on Friday, set out for its maiden voyage on Friday the 13th, never to be seen again.

Until 1900 there were 13 steps leading to the gallows in England and most executions were held on Fridays.

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