Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tomorrow is...

...Friday the 13th.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia - or the fear of Friday the 13th is a very real problem for some. I personally think I am not very superstitious, but Ali (of Nathan) thinks I am. In seeing we have 3 Fridays that fall on the 13th this year, February, March and November I did a little looking into the origins of the supposed unluckiness of the day.

With the complete variety of the origins you have stories ranging from as far back as the Garden of Eden to as late as the book Friday the 13th about an economic crash written in the early 1900's. Some say it started with Norse Gods and others with the Last Supper. No matter where the story began the thing they all have in common is that Friday and the number 13 are unlucky, so combining them together and it's even worse.

Here's an excerpt of some of the superstitions taken from an article on UrbanLegands:

LEGEND HAS IT: If 13 people sit down to dinner together, one will die within the year. The Turks so disliked the number 13 that it was practically expunged from their vocabulary (Brewer, 1894). Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue. Many buildings don't have a 13th floor. If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names). There are 13 witches in a coven. Never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams. Don't start a trip on Friday or you will have misfortune. If you cut your nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow. Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck – as in the tale of H.M.S. Friday ... One hundred years ago, the British government sought to quell once and for all the widespread superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky. A special ship was commissioned, named "H.M.S. Friday." They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain. To top it off, H.M.S. Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday, and was never seen or heard from again.

Studies have been conducted to see if there are more traffic accidents on Friday the 13th compared to other Fridays. Some show that more people stay home on that day due to superstitions so there are actually less traffic accidents reported, so driving should be safer. At the same time, studies have shown that there are more hospital admissions due to traffic accidents on Fridays that fall on the 13 than on other Fridays. One such study showed an increase of 52%.

Even my accident where I got hit by a taxi was on Friday the 13th, in July of 2007. For that story read the post by clicking here.

I will conclude this post by saying, Stay close to the Lord, claim the keys and you will be okay on any day of the week even if it is Friday the 13th.

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