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Friday the 13th – where did it come from?

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in both the East and in the West. However there is no written evidence for a Friday the 13th superstition before the 19 century. The earliest known documented evidence can be found in Henry Sutherland Edwards 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini who died on Friday the 13th.

There are several theories as to why the superstitious find Friday the 13th unlucky.

In numerology the number twelve is considered the number of the divine organizational arrangement, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, tweleve gods of Olympus and the twelve tribes of Israel as well as the twelve signs of the zodiac, and the twelve year Buddhist cycle. The number thirteen was considered an irregular number that transgressed completeness.

There is also a superstition thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth that having thirteen people around a table would result in the death of one of the diners.Friday 13th

Friday has been considered an unlucky day since the 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales and many regard it as an unlucky day to take on new projects or to take a journey.

Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus on the Friday before Easter.

An author who noticed that there was really no reference made to the date before 1907 argued that the superstition came from the publication of the popular novel Friday the Thirteenth by Thomas W Lawson, in which an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street Panic on Friday the 13th.

Although records make hardly any reference to the date prior to the 20th century in the 20th century they are extremely common. The connection between the Knights Templar and Friday the 13th was popularized in Dan Brown’s 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code and John J Robinsons 1989 Born in Blood.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th. Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess  for whom Friday is named in English and triskaidekaphobia meaning the fear of the number thirteen.

In Spanish speaking countries instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th is considered bad luck. The Greeks also consider 13h an unlucky day. In popular Italian culture Friday the 17th is considered a day of bad luck.

The Stress Management Centre and Phobia Institute in North Carolina estimate that between 17 and 21 million people in the USA are affected by the fear of Friday the 13th making it the most feared date in history. Some are so badly affected they cannot carry out their daily routines, go to work, take flights or even get out of bed. An estimated $800 to $900 million dollars in lost in business on this day in the USA

Car insurance companies have noticed less accident claims on Friday the 13th as more people stay home or drive more carefully. Statistically speaking it is slightly safer to drive on the roads on Friday 13th.

Occurrences

January 1978, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2006, 2012, 2017, 2023
February 1976, 1981, 1987, 1998, 2004, 2009, 2015, 2026
March 1981, 1987, 1992, 1998, 2009, 2015, 2020, 2026
April 1979, 1984, 1990, 2001, 2007, 2012, 2018, 2029
May 1977, 1983, 1988, 1994, 2005, 2011, 2016, 2022
June 1975, 1980, 1986, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2014, 2025
July 1979, 1984, 1990, 2001, 2007, 2012, 2018, 2029
August 1976, 1982, 1993, 1999, 2004, 2010, 2021, 2027
September 1974, 1985, 1991, 1996, 2002, 2013, 2019, 2024
October 1978, 1989, 1995, 2000, 2006, 2017, 2023, 2028
November 1981, 1987, 1992, 1998, 2009, 2015, 2020, 2026
December 1974, 1985, 1991, 1996, 2002, 2013, 2019, 2024

Friday 13th 2Films

Of course the hit film Friday the 13th did little to quell peoples fear of the date. The American slasher film about Jason Voorhees who drowned as a boy at Cam Crystal Lake due to the negligence of the camp staff. Decades alter the lake is rumored to be cursed and is the setting for a series of mass murders.

The first film was created to cash in on the success of Halloween and its own success led to Paramount Pictures purchasing the full licensing rights to Friday the 13th. The film was released in 1980 followed by part 2 in 1981, part 3 in 1982, the Final Chapter in 1984, A New Beginning in 1985, Part five – Jason Lives in 1986, The New Blood in 1988, Jason Takes Manhattan in 1989, Jason Goes to Hell -The Final Friday in 1993, Jason X in 2001, Freddy vs Jason in 2003, Friday the 13th in 2009 with a new film rumored to be released in 2015.

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