In Paganism, the number “13” is considered a lucky number, but do we consider it lucky? Especially when it falls on a Friday? Friday the 13th, popularly known as “Black Friday,” is considered an unlucky day in Western superstitions. And there are many facts about this day, some considering it to be unlucky while others do not.
Clearly, until the 19th century, research shows no mention of the day’s existence. However, history assumes the fallacy dates back to the Middle Ages during the time of Jesus’s last supper. It’s been said that Jesus’s last supper (known as “The Last Supper”) had 13 individuals present. The supper was on a Thursday before His crucifixion, which fell on a Friday (known as “Good Friday”). Therefore, the number 13 in conjunction with a Friday came to be marked as unlucky.
And, surprisingly, the omen is also rooted in other cultures. In Gioacchino Rossini’s biography, it’s clearly mentioned that he considered 13 an unlucky number and Friday as an unlucky day. He also died on Friday the 13th. He was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas, as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces.
The day is simple to find; it’s just when the 13th day of any month falls on a Friday in the Gregorian calendar. But it’s not so simple to understand even today what, if anything, the day means. Director Alfred Hitchcock was born on Friday the 13th, and his directorial debut was on a movie named Number 13. The movie was shut down after only a few scenes and was never released due to a financial crisis.
There is also a horror franchise named Friday the 13th that has produced twelve films, a television show, novels, and several comic books. The films have grossed over $465 million worldwide at the box-office and are big hits. The gist of the story is that there are some facts about Friday the 13th that make the day seem scary, but there are also facts that support the idea that it is only another regular day.
Psychology explains Friday the 13th in such a way that it almost seems like a brain game—if something bad happens to you on a Friday the 13th, you will start believing the day is evil; but if nothing happens, you will not even care about the date. But at times, beliefs about the day can make it serious business.
Scientifically, the phobia of the number 13 is termed as “triskaidekaphobia,” and the phobia of Friday the 13th is called “paraskevidekatriaphobia.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Napoleon, and President Herbert Hoover were notable people who really were leery of Friday the 13th and avoided anything important on that day. Even novels like Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, The Da Vinci Code, The Iron King, and The Templar Legacy mention this date.
However, there are also some interesting twists to the Friday the 13th legend. The Greeks and the Spanish consider Tuesday the 13th (and not Friday) to be unlucky. Why? They connect Tuesdays with the influence of Ares, the God of War. On the other hand, Italians consider Friday the 17th (and not the 13th) to be a day of bad luck.
But for most of us, what matters is to be safe on such dates no matter what meaning has been attached to the day. In a 1993 study published by the British Medical Journal, it was confirmed that more road accidents happen on Friday the 13th than on other regular days in the month. There were statistics shown to support the statement. Since 1995, even Finland has started dedicating one Friday the 13th of the year as the “National Accident Day,” aiming to raise awareness about road safety on such dates. Therefore, the date does have some mystery to it—be safe; be protective.