It’s freaky Friday the 13th, a day which all superstitious people regard with caution. But why do we consider it unlucky? We took a look at the origins of the superstition, and whether there is any evidence to support the belief that it is unlucky.
Here are some things you may not know about Friday 13th:
1. There is at least one Friday 13th every year, but there can be up to three.
2. One theory of the superstition’s origin is that it stems from Jesus dying on a Friday, and Judas Iscariot being the 13th member of the Last Supper.
3. The fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia; and the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia.
4. In Great Britain, 49 million people are afraid of Friday the 13th. Businesses lose up to 585 million pounds in lost business and employee absenteeism on this day.
5. The cruise liner Costa Concordia ran aground on Friday 13th January 2012.
The Costa Concordia disaster happened on Friday the 13th. pic.twitter.com/fiF7cP9edY
— FactBuffet (@FactBuffet) April 13, 2018
6. An airplane from Uruguay carrying a rugby team crashed in the Andes on Friday 13th October 1972, killing 29 of the 45 passengers.
7. A 13-year-old boy was struck by lightning in Lowestoft, England, on Friday 13th August 2010, at 1.13pm. Luckily for him, he made a full recovery.
8. Pop star Taylor Swift has declared 13 her lucky number, because she was born on 13th of December, turned 13 on Friday 13th, and her first album went gold in just 13 weeks.
So what if it’s #Fridaythe13th?
Pet that black cat.
Walk under that ladder.
Wear your Tuesday socks.
Wish someone a happy new year.
Carve a scary face into a pumpkin.
Your calendar ain’t the boss of you.
— innocent drinks (@innocent) April 13, 2018
9. In Italy, Friday the 13th is lucky, and Friday the 17th is the day to be scared of. Apparently this superstition can be traced back to how you write the number 17 in Roman numerals: XVII. Rearrange the digits and you get the word VIXI, which means “I have lived” – implying that you’re now dead.
10. Friday being an unlucky day may have been strengthened by it being the day of execution of criminals, otherwise called Hangman’s Day – many moons ago. Add 13 to a Friday and it’s a scary thought for some.
11. Some Hindus consider the number 13 bad luck and still believe it is unlucky for 13 people to gather in one place, at one time. So when Friday the 13th comes around, there are many who stay at home, not to encounter danger.
12. Four people were hurt and a royal staff member died when Buckingham Palace was bombed on Friday 13th during September 1940. Five German bombs hit the palace and is has been considered an omen day ever since.
13. The good news is Friday 13th is the cheapest day to fly in the UK, and many other countries because many won’t fly on the day which drives prices down.