13 Facts About Friday and the Number Thirteen

posted: 03/14/16
by: Rachel Black
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    The Number Has Had a Bad Rap For a Long Time

    There's no clear answer as to why the number thirteen became a sign of bad luck. Some say the fear of the number 13 dates back to the Last Supper when Jesus dined with 12 Apostles and was then betrayed by Judas, the thirteenth guest. But, even before the time of Jesus, there's evidence that the superstition existed as early as 1700 BC when the ancient civilization of Babylon drew up its Code of Hammurabi. The list of laws bypassed the number 13.

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    How Did Friday Get Dragged into the Mix?

    Why Friday and Thirteen? There are a variety of reasons that could explain why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky in the West. Two such reasons have literary links. One is that in Henry Sutherland Edwards' 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, an Italian composer, he noted that Rossini died on Friday the 13th which was unlucky. The second suspected link between Friday and 13 is the 1907 publication of Boston stockbroker Thomas Lawson's book titled, Friday the Thirteenth. His book about an evil businessman was a hit and was later turned into a silent film.

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    Avoid These Things on Friday the 13th

    If it's Friday the 13th just don't do any of these things unless you really like being unlucky:

    • Start a trip on Friday or you will encounter misfortune
    • Break a mirror or you will have seven years of bad luck
    • Have a child on this day unless you want him/her to be unlucky for life
    • Set a ship to sail
    • Walk under a ladder or let a black cat crosses you

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    Don't Press Thirteen

    According to a 2002 report by Otis International, the elevator maker, 85% of US buildings with more than 13 floors opted to skip the number. In New York City it is estimated that fewer than 10 percent of mid- and high- rise condos label the 13th floor.

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    Exercise Caution at Least Once Per Year

    If you're a believer in the unlucky day you'll need to watch out at least once per year. There is a minimum of at least one Friday the 13th in every calendar year and a maximum of three in a calendar year. The date only happens in months that begin with a Sunday.

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    Fear of Friday the 13th Is a Real Condition

    The fear of Friday the 13th is paraskevidekatriaphobia. It is estimated that between 17 and 21 million Americans suffer from this fear. Some of this fear is to blame for an approximately $900 million loss in business around the world on Friday the 13th.

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    Not Everyone Fears the Number 13

    Thirteen isn't considered bad luck by everyone. Pagans regard the number as lucky because it corresponds with the number of full moons each year and is the perfect number for a witches coven.

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    In the 1800s a Club Started to Improve the Image of the No 13

    The Thirteen Club
    was started in 1881 by Captain William Fowler. Fowler had a number of life events that happened to involve the number 13 and none resulted in negative consequences--he graduated from Manhattan's Public School No. 13 at the age of thirteen; he fought in 13 battles of the Civil War; he bought a bar on September 13, 1863. In his mind, thirteen wasn't bad at all so he decided to start a supper club to improve the image of the number. Guests of the club arrived at the dinner by walking under a ladder. Now that's brave.

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    Is It Bad Luck to Celebrate on This Day?

    Happy Birthday! This is a bizarre coincidence but Alfred Hitchcock, the master of the psychological thriller would have turned 100 on August 13, 1999. Also interesting, Gerald Gardner, the founder of Wicca, a witchcraft-inspired religion was born on a Friday the 13th.

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    Twelve and Counting?

    Friday the 13th
    may be one of the most widely recognized horror movie franchises of all time. The first movie was released in 1980 and grossed nearly $60 million worldwide. Since then there have been eleven more films in the franchise. Another film in the franchise is in the works meaning the series will hit the cursed #13.

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    This Number Could Kill You

    If you believe in superstitions then these things are to be avoided at all costs:

    • Do not cut your hair on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die.
    • Keep far away from funeral processions on Friday the 13th. If one passes you you will be the next to die.
    • Never have a dinner with thirteen people. If you do one of the guests will die within a year. This comes from a popular Norse myth in which the god Odin invited 11 friends to dine with him at Valhalla. Loki, the god of evil and turmoil, crashed the dinner and stirred things up which resulted in the death of one of the gods.

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    Weird Stuff Happens on This Day

    Stories like this are what stoke fear of Friday the 13th. On Friday, August 13, 2010, a young boy in Suffolk, England was struck by lightning. Making matters even more bizarre, the boy was 13 and he was struck at 13:13. Fortunately, the boy only suffered a minor burn.

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    Make It a Fun Day

    You can give in to fear or you can choose to make Friday the 13th a joyous day. TGIF didn't come from nowhere. It's the last day of the work week. Think of this as an opportunity to kick your weekend off with some celebratory activities. A quick search of the Internet will lead you to all types of inspiration such as: