Posts Tagged 'Friday the 13th'

Friday the 13th

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

Well, what do you know? Another Friday the 13th. We had three Friday the 13ths last year but, sadly, the only one for 2010 is today.  So if you suffer from a wee touch of Triskaidekaphobia, be sure to stay away from black cats sitting under ladders next to broken mirrors, and take a trip back through our blog’s archives to learn a little more about the history of this much-noted day.

Update: Thanks to those of you (both in-museum and online) who reminded us that it’s also National Left-Handers’ Day. Here’s wishing our (at least) two southpaw staff members and the rest of you lefties out there a great day, and hoping that none of you have Sinistrophobia, the fear of left-handedness or things on the left side.

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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