From symptoms of mild anxiety to a nagging sense of doom to full-out panic attacks, it is estimated that approximately twenty million people in the U.S. are actually afraid of this day. In American culture, we are told from a young age that Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky. Being conditioned to it, we tend to look for it. If you look for bad luck on any given day, you’re probably going to find it. But if you find it on Friday the 13th, you’re probably going to blame it on the date.
There are no legitimate reasons for the fear, but it is fueled by two separate superstitions ~ one of those fears being about the number 13. Although reference to it is rarely found prior to 1900, its roots date back to the time of Christ and the Last Supper, when Judas showed up and became the thirteenth guest at the table. Norse Mythology tells the tale of the much-loved hero Baldr being killed by Loki, the god of evil and turmoil, who was the thirteenth guest to arrive at the banquet. These stories result in the superstition that thirteen people at a table will result in the death of one of them.
Folklore holds that thirteen is unlucky because it represents a gathering of twelve witches and the devil, and the pagan lunar calendar has thirteen months. And, of course, there was the frightful flight of Apollo 13.
The other fear concerns Friday. In the Bible, Adam and Eve are believed to have eaten the forbidden fruit on a Friday, the great flood with Noah’s ark began on a Friday, and Jesus was crucified on a Friday. In British tradition, hangings were carried out on Fridays, and there were thirteen steps leading to the noose. This has been such a long-held superstition that centuries of sailors have often refused to leave port on a Friday.
It has long been considered doomed-from-the-beginning if you begin a project on a Friday, or start a new job, or begin a journey, or get married, or begin most anything. Some people avoid flying, won’t go to work, and some won’t even get out of bed on Friday the 13th, costing U. S. businesses an estimated loss of $800 to $900 million dollars that day!
To all of this I say “POPPYCOCK!” and would leave you with one example. A British couple who, when a mirror fell and broke in their home on Friday the 13th, went out and bought a lottery ticket, and won SEVENTEEN MILLION DOLLARS. So let go of your fear because this is one that is just a fear for fear’s sake. Instead, think about buying a lottery ticket, and BEST OF LUCK. (Let me know if you win.)