Friday the 13th has long been associated with luck, or rather, the lack of it. It’s sort of a universal symbol of bad luck – a lot like how a black cat symbolises something ominous. But is it really unlucky? Or for that matter, where did this idea of bad luck and Friday the 13th start? To learn about those, and more, check out today’s guide on Friday the 13th facts and trivia.
Friday the 13th Facts
Here are some interesting and insightful facts about Friday the 13th:
1. Origin: There are several theories about where the idea of Friday the 13th being ominous came from. The first one is based on Christian lore – both the last supper and the crucifixion involved 13 people. There wasn’t any mention of Friday the 13th specifically in that, and very likely the date just carried on being considered unlucky because of the number 13. There is another theory, that a popular fiction book (by Thomas W. Lawson) published in the early 1900s popularised the idea of Friday the 13th being unlucky. Since the book was titled Friday the thirteenth, that is hardly a surprising theory. Then there’s the often quoted theory about it originating from the early 1300s, when hundreds of Knights Templers were arrested by King Philip IV of France on Friday the 13th.
2. Phobia: There is actually a name for the fear (or phobia) of Friday the 13th – it’s called “paraskevidekatriaphobia”. Yes, it is a mouthful. The term comes from the Greek words Paraskevi (which means Friday) and dekatreis (meaning thirteen).
3. Sunday month start: Did you know that there is a predictable way to know if a month will have a Friday on the 13th? Just note whether the month starts on a Sunday or not. If it does, then there will be a Friday on the 13th of that month.
4. 2-3 a year: Friday the 13ths are actually quite common. There is at least one every year, but often there are 2-3 of them in a year. Like in 2015, there were 3 Friday the 13ths, one in Feb, second one in March and the third one in Nov.
5. Tuesdays: Friday the 13th, as it turns out, isn’t quite that universal. In fact, in some parts of the world other days are associated with bad luck, like in Spain (and other Spanish speaking countries) whether Tuesday the 13th is known as the bad for bad luck. But the hispanic countries aren’t the only ones who consider Tuesday instead of Friday unlucky – the Greeks also consider Tuesdays the 13th unlucky.
6. Friday the 17th: In the same way Friday is not the universal day of bad luck, neither is the date “13th”. In Italy, generally, Friday the 17th is considered ominous rather than Friday the 13th.
7. Huge impact: Even though Friday the 13th does not have quite the same connotation all over the world, its impact is not small. Quite the opposite in fact. According to research by the North Carolina based Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, around 17 to 21 million people in the USA are affected by the fear of Friday the 13th (or, paraskevidekatriaphobia, as it is called).
8. Longest period without a Friday the 13th: We found out earlier that there is usually at least one Friday the 13th in every year. But there are exceptions to this rule. Want to know what the longest period is without any Friday the 13th? It is 14 months.
9. More common for Friday to be 13th: The 13th is, as it turns out, statistically more likely to fall on a Friday than any other day of the week. On average, there is a Friday on the 13th about every 212.35 days. The day that comes close to that is Thursday, averaging once about every 213.59 days.
10. Friday the 13ths in 2020: So how many Friday the 13th does this year have? 2020 has 2 of these days – today (13th of March), and then the second one is in November. You can actually get a list of months when there will be more Friday the 13ths here.
What do you think of Friday the 13th? What does it mean for you?
Share your thoughts about the Friday the 13th facts in the comments section below.
And remember, only because today is the 13th does not mean you should not enjoy your Friday. In fact, have fun with it! Have a great Friday!
Video: Why Are We Afraid of Friday the 13th and the Number 13?
Hartston, Willam (2007). Encyclopedia of Useless Information
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