Beware, it’s Friday the 13th

2018-04-11 06:00

IF you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia or even triskaidekaphobia, you will have a problem this Friday — that’s right it’s the 13th.

Considered by many to be a harbinger of bad luck, Friday the 13th triggers these phobias of a Friday itself and the fear of the number 13 that describe fear of this supposedly unlucky day.

Origins of these phobias vary.

Thirteen guests attended the Last Supper — Jesus and his 12 apostles (one of whom, Judas, betrayed him). The next day, of course, was Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.

The seating arrangement at the Last Supper is believed to have given rise to a long standing Christian superstition that having 13 guests at a table was a bad omen; specifically that it was courting death.

Also it is believed that the flood with Noah’s ark began on a Friday and the story about the original sin of Adam and Eve occurred on a Friday.

In the olden days, evidently Friday was the day for the execution of criminals and became known as Hangman’s Day.

Although many believe that the date 13 is unlucky, there is no hard evidence. “No data exists and will never exist to confirm that the number 13 is an unlucky number,” Igor Radun, of Finland's Human Factors and Safety Behaviour Group, told LiveScience in 2012.

“There is no reason to believe that any number would be lucky or unlucky.”

There are many superstitions associated with the day which include:

- If someone cuts his/her hair on Friday the 13th, someone in the family might die.

- If a funeral procession passes a person on Friday the 13th, that person could be the next to die.

- Breaking a mirror on this day could bring seven years of bad luck.

- If a black cat crosses someone on Friday the 13th, then it could bring bad luck.

- See a pin, let it lay and your luck will pass away. However, good luck if you pick it up.

- Bad luck to chase someone with a broom or to sweep a house with a new broom unless you sweep some dust from outside in first.

- Get out of bed on the same side as you got in — otherwise bad luck!

The number 13 has an unlucky association even today. Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue, many high-rise buildings avoid having a 13th floor, some hospitals avoid labelling rooms with the number 13 and many airports skip gate 13.

However, for the genuine sufferers of Friday the 13th jitters, relax, the next Friday the 13th is in July this year!


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