I’m not superstitious, but it is Friday the 13th – a day when, unless I absolutely have to get up, I stay in bed with the covers firmly pulled over my head! Basically, this is because I suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia.
Apparently, this is a combination of two superstitions – that Friday is an unlucky day and that 13 is an unlucky number…
In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, twelve gods of Olympus, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners
Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. It has also been suggested that Friday has been considered an unlucky day because, according to Christian scripture and tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
The actual origin of the superstition, though, appears also to be a tale in Norse mythology. Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil — a gathering of thirteen — and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as “Witches’ Sabbath.”
Here’s a few unhappy events that happened on Friday the 13th :
- Hurricane Charley made landfall in south Florida on Friday, August 13, 2004.
- The “Friday the 13th Storm” struck Buffalo, New York on Friday, October 13, 2006.
- The Uphaar Cinema fire on Friday, June 13, 1997.
- The asteroid 99942 Apophis will make a close encounter with Earth, closer than the orbits of communication satellites, on Friday, April 13, 2029.
- The Andes Plane Crash of 1972 occurred on Friday, October 13, 1972.
- Unix time reached 1,234,567,890 seconds on Friday, February 13, 2009.
- A London Underground Engineering train on the Northern Line became uncoupled and went on a 13 minute journey southbound from Archway, finally stopping at Warren Street tube station. The train in front has been forced to skip several stations and been diverted to the city branch on August 13, 2010.
Luckily, there is only one Friday 13th this year, but Olympic committee take note there are three in 2012, so you are definitely well fucked!
But my problem with this date is a very personal one – my sister was born on Friday the 13th, and she is undoubtedly one of the most poisonous, vindictive and evil bastards who ever walked the face of the Earth.
Thankfully, I have now managed to move house twice without giving her the new address so I should be safe…
…but I’m taking no chances!
+ + + + + + UPDATE + + + + + +
The farce on Blogger today has rather proved my point, hasn’t it? Not only that, but Twitter is now refusing logins because it has “temporarily reached capacity”! I love it…