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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Friday the 13th - boo!

There's actually a name for it: paraskevidekatriaphobia.

It means, in Greek, "Fear of Friday the 13th."

I had heard that it was because Judas was the 13th disciple(or that there were thirteen men crowded into that room for the Last Supper) and this is true as far as it goes, and there was certainly a fear of the number itself,  but according to the Wikipedia entry on this subject, this whole Friday the 13th thing didn't really take off till the nineteenth century.

Public Domain

Not that there aren't unlucky days connected with the number 13 - in Spain and Greece it's Tuesday the 13th that's bad luck..

But it just isn't as ancient and traditional as we all believed. So, if you have paraskevidekatriaphobia, it isn't an ancient condition. I do love the name, though. Try saying it twice, fast...

For my own people, 13 is a good number. It's the age when a boy becomes an adult, responsible member of the community.

I see that in 1907, there was a novel published, Friday The 13th, by Thomas W Lawson, in which a character arranges a Wall Street Crash on that day.

Dan Brown also mentions the date in The Da Vinci Code, a novel I didn't much care for. It was the date when the Knights Templar were wiped out. A nice connection, really, because they ran banks in their time. (When the Jews did it, it was called usury, when the Knights Templar did it, it was called banking!)

But there is no real connection between this and the superstition.

Anyway, have a great Friday the 13th, however you spend it!


Lan said...

I actually did have a great Friday the 13th and have never come across any bad luck! But I love the whole superstition around it. Kind of makes it feel like there is magic in the world.

Sue Bursztynski said...

So, you don't have paraskevidekatriaphobia? Fair enough! Neither do I. But it's fun!