by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation
Here’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.