Friday the 13th

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

Number13Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Friday the 13th!…

That is, of course, unless you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia (derived from the Greek words paraskevi [Friday], dekatris [thirteen] and phobia [fear]), which is the fear of Friday the 13ths. If so, take heart, less than 24 hours to go.

Did you know…

  • Any month that begins on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th. 2009 has three of these months: February, March, and November. In the Gregorian Calendar (which we observe in the United States), every year will have at least one Friday the 13th, but never more than three.
  • While there’s a recognized fear of the number thirteen (Triskaidekaphobia), there’s no recognized fear of Fridays.
  • Traditionally, both Greeks and Spanish-speakers, the 13th of the month is considered unlucky if it falls on Tuesday, instead of Friday.
  • Many hotels and hospitals will have no room or floor #13
  • In France, socialites called quatorziens (fourteeners) make themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.

Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky? Here are some suggestions:

  • In numerology, 12 is considered the number of completeness, making the number 13, then, an irregular transgressor.
  • Historically, Fridays have been associated with everything from stock market crashes to Jesus’ crucifixion.
  • It’s also said that the superstition is derived from a Norse myth in which it was believed that a coven of thirteen witches met each Friday to plot dastardly deeds for the following week.
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2 Responses to “Friday the 13th”


  1. 1 trickygirl November 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Fascinating stuff – I was particular interested to learn that there is no recognised fear of Fridays!


  1. 1 Friday the 13th « More to Explore Trackback on August 13, 2010 at 11:57 am
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