Why is Friday the 13th unlucky
Friday the thirteenth can occur as often as 3 times during the Gregorian calendar year but always occurs at least once in every year. Oddly enough written references to this superstition only began to first appear in 1869 in a biography for Gioachino Rossini and it is largely suspected to be purely an oral superstition passed down by word of mouth.
There are many different theories surrounding Friday the 13th and why it is believed to be unlucky. One of the most popular theories concludes that this unlucky day is comprised of two unlucky events, Unlucky Friday and the unlucky number of 13. The number 13 is considered unlucky because the 12 is considered the number of completeness (we also refer to numbers of 12 as a dozen contrary to our decimal system way of thinking). We have 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 hours on the clock, 12 Apostles in Christianity, 12 Gods of Olympus. To have an extra number beyond 12 is highly irregular and terribly unlucky.
With regards to Friday being unlucky, it has been known as such since at least the 14th centenary. This day has historically been quite unlucky and has been associated with market crashes and other disasters for many centuries. It is also believed that the Messiah of the Christian faith (Jesus) was crucified on a Friday. It is therefore for a number of reasons that these two aspects of Friday the 13th became known as a highly unlucky day.
There are other theories surrounding this superstition however including Norse mythology where the day Friday is named after Frigga a goddess of love and fertility. When these tribes converted to Christianity Frigga was banished in shame and labelled a witch but it was believed that every Friday the goddess attended a meeting with 11 other witches and the devil (making 13) and plotted the coming week’s disasters.
Another more recently popular theory is associated with the Knights Templar which was a military order founded in Jerusalem around the 11th century. This order was designed to protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades however they become increasingly powerful and wealthy which made King Philip increasingly envious and paranoid. Eventually he secretly ordered the arrest of all the Knights Templar on Friday 13th in 1307.
It is interesting to note that in other countries such as Spain and Greece it is considered a bad luck day on Tuesday 13th where as in Italy it is Friday 17th that is considered unlucky. While the origins of these unlucky days are in much debate, and still relatively unknown, the impact of them is very shocking. In the US alone 21 million people have a fear or phobia of this unlucky day. Many other people merely believe that the unlucky Friday 13th has developed over time due to the higher amount of bad occurrences on this day and for some reason it has been singled out as a bad day because of this. However, it is still unknown why this day was singled out as an unlucky day above any other days in western society.