Friday The 13th

The sixth day of the week and the number 13 both have menacing reputations said to date from ancient times. It seems their inevitable concurrence from one to three times a year (there will be three such occurrences in 2012, exactly 13 weeks apart) portends more misfortune than some naive minds can bear. According to some sources it’s the most extensive superstition in the United States today. Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won’t eat in restaurants; many wouldn’t think of setting a wedding on the date.

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!

A survey conducted in America showed that the number of reported accidents in hospitals increase as much as 50% on days like New Years, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and of course, Friday the 13th (creepy)

The British Medical Journal had a case study of Friday the 13th titled: Is Friday the 13th Bad for Your Health?“. Their conclusion: Friday 13th is unlucky for some. The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent. Staying at home is recommended.

Legend has it: Never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams. If you cut your nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow. Don’t start a trip on Friday or you will encounter misfortune. 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 the longstanding superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky. A special ship was commissioned and given the name “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!

Here are a few other common superstitions:

Throwing shoes at newly-weds ensures a happy marriage. – I couldn’t imagine throwing shoes at someone on their wedding day! Maybe that’s why there are so many unhappy marriages…

Walking with one shoe on and one off brings bad luck for a full year. – I have done this, broken my leg and yes, it was indeed a bad year for me :P

Placing your shoes on a table or chair attracts misfortune. – Kids and their mothers can attest to this!

I don’t really believe in any of these, for me it is no different than any other day!

This post was first published at the Qalam blog at StepUpPakistan, an initiative of Ali Moeen Nawazish.


22 responses to “Friday The 13th

  1. the people around first world countries r still struck in those bloody unrecognized ideas ,,,their thoughts still vulnerable n philosophies still not worth appreciating ,

  2. i dont believe in those superstitions..infact sometimes i would do something totally opposite of the forbidden to strengthen my belief and it helps :D and yes its amazing that hat people living in those first world countries,claim to be so hi tech and scientifically advanced and all,they still believe all such stuff..

  3. There are so many uncanny things that occur I would be hardpressed to say I don’t believe in things like old wives tales or tales passed on by mouth generation to generation. Still… in this day in age it is so hard to have faith in something that can not be proven.

  4. Friday the 13th represents good luck in some European countries such as Italy. Since I have a tendency to be a bit of a believer in bad luck charms, date etc. I choose to be European today!

    Also elevators show no 13th floor (It is a bit dicey then to live on the 12th or 14th depending if there is a basement or garage floors :)

  5. Positively I don’t belive in good luck or bad one…
    In effect, everything just is a projection of our mind! If you are smiling and positive thinking… people return you the smile… but In many way you are what you think you are…. and if you are negative you may expect only something negative retourning back to you!
    A very good reason to keep on being a dreamer and being sure to be able to change the world! This is my own “motto”…
    Serenity :-)claudine

  6. My boyfriend got his car booted this most recent Friday the 13th, amongst several other coincidentally unlucky events. I don’t know if I believe in Friday the 13th yet or not, but I definitely believe in Karma!

  7. I should be superstitious, but I’m not. To wit:

    My dad was born on Friday the 13th and died 31 years later on Friday the 13th.

    My oldest brother was born on Friday the 13th and died 13 months later on Friday the 13th.

    My youngest brother was born on Friday the 13th and died 13 minutes after birth, on Friday the 13th.

    I did quit going to the cemetery because of all the 13’s on the headstones.

  8. Pingback: Top 10 Friday the 13th Pictures! | A Little Bit Funny·

  9. Another reason why 13 is/was thought to be unlucky is because there were 13 at the “Last Supper” i.e. J.C. and the 12 disciples. I must admit I avoid the number, although thanks for pointing out that 13 letters in i name is unlucky, as my real original name had–you guessed it- 13!!! I always throw spilled salt over my left shoulder and turn around when I encounter a black cat and don’t walk under ladders. Short of that, I’m not superstitious! (Cross my fingers.) Enjoyed this. Thanks for visiting and liking my blog as well. Hope you come back. Judy

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