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Friday, April 13, 2018

Be Careful Out There

Are you superstitious?? If you are then you most likely dread or have dreaded this day. Friday the 13th is considered to be an unlucky day in Western superstition. The fear is that something bad will happen on Friday the 13th. An average of 17 to 21 million people suffer from a fear of Friday the 13th according to the North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute. Those who suffer from a fear of this day are known to suffer from a condition known as "paraskavedekatriaphobia". The Greek psychologist Paraskevi was given credit for Friday and Dekatreis for the number 13 and phobia for fear.

Why and when Friday the 13th became a time to fear is unclear. There is no written evidence of why the superstition of Friday the 13th began. One can date the fear of the number 13 back to 1700 BC:

  • in 1772 BC the ancient Babylon's code of Hammurabi omitted the number 13 in the list of laws. 
  • a longstanding myth is that when there are 13 people who dine together, one of them will die within the year. This myth arose from the Last supper when Jesus dined with 12 apostles prior to his own death. 

  • Some say that if you cut your hair on Friday the 13th then someone in your family will die
  • Some think that if a funeral procession passes your way on Friday the 13th you will be next to die. 
  • starting a trip on Friday the 13th should be avoided as the traveler will find much delay or misfortune
  • Some consider the number 13 cursed and the number 12 completed. For instance there was 12 gods in Olympus, 12 months of the year, 12 hours on the clock, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus, and the list goes on
  • 13 is the number of witches needed to form a coven 
  • The number 13 has been considered cursed across the world for thousands of years. 
  • In recent history October 13, 1989 the second largest drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in history took place. The day was nicknamed the Friday the 13th mini crash. 
  • In the novel The Da Vinci Code the date of Friday the 13th was discussed and a connection between the slaughtering of the Knights Templar by the Church and Friday the 13th was drawn
Because of these and many more the day of the week Friday, as well as the number 13 and especially Friday the 13th is strongly avoided by the world. Many cities do not have a 13th street or 13th avenue, high rise buildings avoid the 13th floor, hospitals avoid labeling rooms 13 and many airports do not have a gate 13. 

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