Friday the 13th – Good luck or bad luck?


Are you of those who are super-duper superstitious, believers of the Friday the 13th?

These people who are afraid the  number 13 that falls on a Friday are called “friggatriskaidekaphobia” (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen), or “paraskevidekatriaphobia.”

Luckily for those who fear number 13, they will only have to curl up and hide in their house once this year and it’s today, May 13, 2011 as this is the one Friday the 13th in the calendar. Many people around the globe consider this number 13 unlucky but there are many also who keep this number as their lucky charm.

It was in grade school when I learned of the reputation of Friday the 13th, not a good one though.  Just a question, why do they fear Friday the 13th and not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday the 13th? What is really in this friday the 13th all about? For centuries, number 13 has been considered bad news, bad luck number paired with Friday who also had a bad reputation equals UNLUCKY. 

According to Dr. Richard Brown, a neuroscientist who works at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, says the reason humans develop superstitions like the one surrounding Friday the 13th is a side effect of the way our noggins are wired. “By nature, we’re looking for causality and pattern,” he told AOL Weird News. “Just as there are visual illusions, we have cognitive illusions.”

Brown says superstitions differ by cultures, but they are so ingrained that even people who accept that they are nonsense in their heads still act irrationally.

“A while back, we did an admittedly unscientific study where we had people challenge their superstitious beliefs,” he said. “We had people spill salt and not throw it over their shoulder and make a prediction about the future without knocking on wood. No matter how many of these superstitions people challenged, there was one they wouldn’t do.”

Some Theories:

 In numerology and astrology, number 12 is considered the number of completeness. There are 12 months a year, 12 zodiac signs, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus, etc. Number 13 is considered odd, irregular and disturbs the completeness of things.

There is also belief among Christian nations that since in the Last Supper, the 13th person at the table—Jesus Christ—died afterwards, it is considered unlucky to have 13 seats at a dining table.

Friday is the day Jesus Christ was supposed to have been crucified and, therefore, Friday has since then been considered a bad or unlucky day.

Is there any rational proof that Friday the 13th, or just the number 13, is indeed unlucky? None. Friday the 13th has nothing to do with one’s luck, good or bad. But if one believes it to be so, that’s what will happen—an example of “self-fulfilling prophecy.” It’s all in our mind. If we believe number 13 is lucky, it will bring us luck.

“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Shakespeare

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One comment on “Friday the 13th – Good luck or bad luck?

  1. It is widely accepted that the source of Friday the 13th’s unluckiness has to do with king Phillippe IV of France’s simultaneous arrest of all the Templar knights on Friday October 13th 1307.

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