The Superstition Behind Friday And The Number 13



Triskaidekaphobia – Its a fear or phobia of number 13. And specially with Friday by its side its one of the most scariest combination for people. Since Jesus was crucified on the 6th day, which was a Friday, hence whenever the day collides with 13th it add ups to unluckiest day “Friday the 13th’’ according to the west.

Paraskevidekatriaphobics — people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th


According to numerology the number 13 is an irregular number , a number that belongs to witches and is used to form a coven. Legend has it that the roots of 13 being considered unlucky began when, in a Nordic myth about 12 Gods having a dinner party in Valhalla and the 13th guest was Loki (the god of mischief), who arranged the God of joy and gladness to be shot by an arrow. He died and the world was thrust into mourning.

There is also a biblical reference to 13 being considered unlucky. Judas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus who later betrayed him, was supposedly the 13th guest to sit down at the last supper.

Ancient Christianity may also yield some clues as to why Friday is perceived as unlucky. Christ was crucified on a Friday and Cain is believed to have killed his brother Abel on a Friday, perhaps even Friday 13th. Some biblical scholars believe that Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on a Friday.

Seafarers have long considered it is bad luck to set off on a journey on a Friday. It was also historically known as the day that people were usually hanged in Britain.


In the 1990s researchers tried to prove whether Friday the 13th was unlucky .

The results published in the British Medical Journal, noted that the number of motor accidents in the South West Thames region increased from a total of 45 on the six Friday 6ths between 1989 and 1992, to some 65 accidents on the six Friday 13ths in the same period – an increase of 52 per cent.

Researchers in Sweden also claimed that the country was a more risky place to be on Friday the 13th.

According to historian Donald Dossey who told National Geographic that Friday the 13th costs the American economy approximately $800- $900 million (£500 million- £570 million) because people will not fly or do business they normally would do.

In India a lesser known fact is that 2 days before Diwali(in some regions 1 day before Diwali), Dhanteras is celebrated as the day when one should buy new utensils or jewellery, as it is considered auspicious, however, the day falls on 13th day in the month of Ashwin. Shivratri is celebrated on the 13th night of the Magha month. On the contrary, a vast majority believe the exact opposite. One probable reason behind that is the prevalent Hindu ritual of holding a ceremonial fast on the 13th day after the death of a person. This widely practiced tradition of holding a fast in remembrance of the departed soul is the reason why the other half of the populace look at the number 13, as an ominous indication.

Lucky number 13:

  • India’s Gujarat state’s chief minister Narendra Modi was declared candidate for future prime minister as his party BJP is showing signs of winning lok sabha polls, the news which he chose to declare on 13/9/13.
  • Fidel Castro born on August 13 1926 may have had polarized image among Cuban people, but a man who called himself “prime minister” from 1959 to 1976 and then “president” (to make it sound more democratic, you know) until 2006 and got away with it must be pretty damn lucky. In 2009, Forbes called Castro one of the wealthiest heads of state in the world.
  • Michael Spinks born on July 13 1957 won gold in 1976 Olympics, and then moved on to the world of professional boxing, going undefeated in his first 31 professional fights. After 10 successful title defenses, he decided light-heavyweight boxing just wasn’t good enough anymore and moved on to heavyweight, becoming the first light-heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight title.
  • Steve Buscemi born on December 13 1957. The man might straight up look like a bugged out squirrel, but he’s led a pretty good life. In addition to some pretty impressive movie roles, the actor, writer and director has been lighting up the silver screen on Boardwalk Empire since 2010. His portrayal of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson has won him two SAG Awards, a Golden Globe and two Emmy nominations.
  • Tom Kenny born on Friday, July 13 1962, best known for being the voice of SpongeBob Square Pants. The hit cartoon even skyrocketed Toms career.
  • Bernie Williams born on Friday, September 13 1968 Known For  being a World Series champion outfielder for the New York Yankees

Logic And Science:

Dr Caroline Watt of the University of Edinburgh says that it is the belief in the Friday 13th superstition that could, in fact, prove the greatest risk to the average person.

If people believe in the superstition of Friday the 13th then they believe they are in greater danger on that day. As a result they may be more anxious and distracted and this could lead to accidents. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

It is like telling someone they are cursed. If they believe they are then they will worry, their blood pressure will go up and they put themselves at risk.

However before the invention of science people had a weird way of believing on facts, reason being irrational logic. Something inauspicious that occurred on the 13th day or on a Friday lead to the thinking that the particular day and date is unlucky. For that matter things must have occurred on different days but no one took note of it.

In today’s fast paced world every sec, every min, every hour counts. Having belief in such old , baseless myths is of irrelevance. A particular day or date doesn’t matter, what matters is your efforts and what you achieve from it.

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