Paraskevidekatriaphobics — people afflicted with a fear of Friday the 13th. Does Friday the 13th give you anxiety?
This is a phobia that is estimated to afflict 17 to 21 million people in the United States. To some it’s more than a release date for the next Friday the 13th Movie.
This Friday some people will be so paralyzed with fear and superstition they simply won’t get out of bed. Others will refuse to fly on an airplane, buy a large ticket item. It’s Friday the 13th, which just freaks some people out. Are you one of them?
“It’s been estimated that [U.S] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do,” said Donald Dossey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina.
How did Friday the 13th become such an unlucky day?
We did some research on how Friday the 13th became such feared day and this is what we came up with.
-There is the fear of 13 to a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of winter, some say he is also known as the blind god of darkness, he shoots Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow.
“Balder died and the Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day,” From that moment on, the number 13 has been considered ominous and foreboding. Apparently the Norse concluded that 13 people at a dinner party is just plain bad luck. or beware of an uninvited guest bearing Mistletoe?
-In ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil.
-There is also a biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.
For many years buildings were built without the 13th floor.
-More than 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor. Many airports skip the 13th gate. Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13. Although now it seems some builders have moved beyond this superstition because there are buildings that do have a 13th floor.
-On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half. In France socialites known as thequatorziens (fourteeners) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
-Primitive man had only his 10 fingers and two feet to represent units, this explanation goes, so he could count no higher than 12. What lay beyond that — 13 — was an impenetrable mystery to our prehistoric forebears, hence an object of superstition.
-Chinese regarded the number as lucky,(the unlucky number for Chinese is 4).
-The ancient Egyptians, we’re told, life was a quest for spiritual ascension which unfolded in stages — twelve in this life and a thirteenth beyond, thought to be the eternal afterlife. The number 13 therefore symbolized death, as a glorious and desirable transformation.
-Other speculate that the number 13 may have been purposely vilified by the founders of patriarchal religions in the early days of western civilization because it represented femininity. Thirteen was revered in prehistoric goddess-worshiping cultures, we are told, because it corresponded to the number of lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year (13 x 28 = 364 days).
And the list goes on:
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 meet 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.
On the other hand.
Friday was actually considered quite lucky by pre-Christian Teutonic peoples, we are told — especially as a day to get married — because of its traditional association with love and fertility. All that changed when Christianity came along. The goddess of the sixth day — most likely Freya in this context, given that the cat was her sacred animal — was recast in post-pagan folklore as a witch, and her day became associated with evil doings.
Various legends developed. As the story goes, the witches of the north used to observe their sabbath by gathering in a cemetery in the dark of the moon. On one such occasion the Friday goddess, Freya herself, came down from her sanctuary in the mountaintops and appeared before the group, who numbered only 12 at the time, and gave them one of her cats, after which the witches’ coven — and, by “tradition,” every properly formed coven since — comprised exactly 13.
Do you have a theory or belief about Friday the 13th?
We at the Siren Media Marketing offices are just looking forward to the fact that it is the end of the week, which means it’s the weekend! But in the back of my mind the research makes me wonder just a little if any of this is true.
On a “luckier” note.
Head down to your local Starbucks from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Friday the 13th to pick up your free drink. The Refresher is a new drink from Starbucks and you can get one for free per customer during this time. You will get a 12 oz. drink.
Thanks for reading our Friday Blog. On behalf of the Crew here at Siren Media Marketing. Have a great weekend. See you Tuesday.