Friday the Thirteenth

13th calendar

It’s Friday the 13th in New Zealand – it will come to your place in the next few hours if it hasn’t already arrived.

Friday the 13th is the most widespread superstition in the Western world.  Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won’t eat in restaurants and many would not consider setting this as a date for a wedding or other large celebration.

According to our good friend Wikipedia “The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen)”  So we have a name for this phobia.

But from where did this superstition arise?  The number 13 has been considered unlucky for centuries. Some say the superstition began with 13 people who attended the Last Supper, but ancient Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi omits the number 13 in its list of laws, so the superstition dates back to at least 1700 BC.

It appears that Friday’s bad reputation goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  Apparently it was a Friday when Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit.  We are told that the Great Flood began on a Friday; God tongue-tied the builders of the Tower of Babel on a Friday; and it was on a Friday that the Temple of Solomon was destroyed.  And Friday was the day of the week on which Christ was crucified.

In pagan Rome, Friday was execution day and later Hangman’s Day in Britain

But the association of Friday with the number 13 didn’t arise until the 20th  century.  In 1907, Thomas Lawson a Boston stockbroker, published a book called Friday the Thirteenth.  This told the story of one man’s attempt to crash the stock market on the unluckiest day of the month.  The book sold nearly 28,000 copies in the first week.
Wall Street’s superstitions about Friday the 13th continued and in 1925 the New York Times declared that people “would no more buy or sell a share of stock today than they would walk under a ladder or kick a black cat out of their path.”
Even today most tall buildings don’t have a thirteenth floor.
So are you superstitious about this day?  In 2012 Friday the 13th will occur three times – January, April and July – so if you are you will have to watch out on those three days,

27 responses to “Friday the Thirteenth

  1. Oh no im getting stitches out on Friday 13th


  2. I’ll wait until tomorrow, the 14th, to assure you that I’m not superstitious about Friday the 13th.


  3. Happy Friday the 13th Judith. We have a little village called Port Dover about an hour from here and on every Friday the 13th masses of motorcycle folk gather there by the thousands. Always a peaceful rally and a chance for ordinary folk to get a peek at strange sights. Today is the first real day of winter here..imagine is very cold, snowy and very windy so cannot imagine any die hards getting on those bikes!


    • Well Chris Friday 13th was an awful day here. Thunder, lightening, heavy rain and gale force winds interspersed with brief shots of sunshine. Today is glorious. So Goodby Friday the 13th. 🙂


  4. I did not realize it was Friday 13th. I took a very frightening up-in-the-air slip and fall in the shower this morning. Shoulda cracked my skull or broke an arm. Am completely uninjured. Guess it is a lucky day after all. So far. 9:07AM. Miami, Florida USA.


  5. Pingback: Friday the Thirteenth « partnormal

  6. Pingback: Dangerous Talk » Today’s Superstitions Were Yesterday’s Divine Realities

  7. Could you imagine what it was like June 6, 1966….6/6/66. Even though there are 4 sixes, there’s the three satanic sixes in a row. The religious fanatics must have been freaking out!

    I’ve noticed that sometimes there’s two Friday the 13ths in one year. February then March.


  8. Hi Elizabeth. It works out that if the first of the month falls on a Sunday then there is a Friday 13th in that month. Two more to come this year. 🙂


  9. Great post Judith! I’m beginning to count on you for historical perspectives on things I take for granted. I’m not superstitious though so have just treated today as any other. However, now that you mention it………..


  10. Judith,
    I have given you an award. Sorry but I still haven’t mastered the link in a comment thing. But you know where I am and you can pick it up there.


  11. It’s just another day. 🙂 Have a good one, Judith!


    • I agree Patti but I wanted to find out where the superstition originated. Interesting how we can blindly follow like sheep and not know where these things come from. 🙂


  12. I quite enjoy a good Friday 13th.
    So many people stay home or avoid doing things that it means a lot less competing for headroom for the rest of us who carry on regardless and life usually runs at a slightly slower pace. 🙂


  13. Very interesting Judith and you have extensively covered all aspects.
    I totally appreciated and enjoyed all parts of your post.
    However,I would like to add that in my country Friday 13th is not an unlucky date whatsoever.
    In Greece, Tuesday is considered the unluckiest day of the week because the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople on a Tuesday May 29 1453
    and nowadays we have expanded it to Tuesday 13th as an unlucky date.
    Sometimes I am thinking that it is better to ignore the superstitions because if you are thinking of them it is as if you provoke or rouse your fortune.
    Have a nice and peaceful week


    • Thanks Doda. I didn’t know about Tuesdays being unlucky in Greece. Aren’t we so unaware of what happens in countries other than ours? I knew about the conquering of Constantinople by the Turks but had never heard about it being a Tuesday.
      I am not superstitious and don’t worry about Friday 13th but many of my friends commented on the date and that is what prompted the post. Enjoy the coming week. Is it summer or winter where you live?


  14. Good morning Judith and thanks for responding.
    Your Friday 13th post had covered so many details and notable info but I suppose it is impossible for us to know what’s happening in every corner of our planet.Besides,that’s why we read each others post to exchange info and enjoy the world in different dimensions.I feel very lucky that you spotted out my post Getting into the spirit and then the New Year recipe … and I had the chance to find out about your posts.
    All your posts are so neat and informative and I love the fact that you cover different subjects and you don’t write only on a specific subject.
    By the way,we have a temperate climate like yours but the seasons don’t coincide.Our winter months are your summer ones and when we enjoy our summers in June,July and August then it is winter in N.Zealand.
    Have a nice day


    • Hello again Doda. Thanks for the response. I just love hearing about traditions and way of life in different countries and our blogs are great for doing that.
      So far this year our summer has been very disappointing. A couple of good days followed by rain and more rain. We were promised a long hot summer by the weather forecasters, but….


  15. I actually love Friday the Thirteenths because my wonderful husband proposed to me on one.


  16. What a lovely memory. 🙂


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