Paraskevidekatriaphobia ; The fear of Friday the 13th!

‘It’s Friday 13. Take Care!’ A sleepy Jas  advised me before she hang up. She called me just to tell me that single line. Did she set an alarm for that?She cares for me. I appreciate that to bits but why at 4:00 a.m? I don’t want to sound like an ungrateful prick but seriously,who does that?

Thanks to the call I had an early start of the day. In terms of caution I did not do anything different from any other day of the week. I just felt that paying so much attention to every little thing that went on was going to be a hassle, like my 8 months nephew’s attempt to end the life of the poor gold fish in the basin (yes, it’s kept in a large basin) or the cup of tea that I almost knocked down. I had scheduled a shopping trip to Arusha (a neighbouring city) and there was no way I was going to cancel that nor my dose of 30 lap swim session on my return and were it my Birthday I would have celebrated with fireworks to match my age.

I survived Friday 13. Obviously! There were no broken mirrors, black cats or witches on broomsticks (sorry Harry Potter). It’s Saturday 14th and I can confirm that the fish is still wiggling it’s tail and the world is revolving around the sun. The only scary thing about Friday 13th is having to watch the rerun of a shrieking Lindsay in ‘Freaky Friday’. Poor choice of programming.

I am not a devote of ‘vigilance on unlucky Friday 13’ simply because it’s not scientific. Objectively speaking it’s only Friday 13 if your are following the Gregorian Calendar. What about the Lunar Calendar, The Chinese and the so many other world time keeping calendars? How can Friday 13 be universal if there is no universal calendar? Or does it only affect those following the Gregorian Calendar?

Any way here are a few cool stuff about Friday 13:

  • The fear of Friday the 13th stems from two separate fears — the fear of the number 13 and the fear of Fridays. Both fears have deep roots in Western culture, most notably in Christian theology.
  • Thirteen is significant to Christians because it is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles). Judas, the apostle w­ho betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive.
  • ­Christians have traditionally been wary of Fridays because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Additionally, some theologians hold that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that the Great Flood began on a Friday.
  • In the past, many Christians would never begin any new project or trip on a Friday, fearing they would be doomed from the start; the British Navy commissioned a ship in the 1800s called H.M.S. Friday, in order to quell the superstition. The navy selected the crew on a Friday, launched the ship on a Friday and even selected a man named James Friday as the ship’s captain. Then, one Friday morning, the ship set off on its maiden voyage… and disappeared forever. A similar, entirely factual story is the harrowing flight of Apollo 13.
  • In the Roman calendar, Friday was devoted to Venus, the goddess of love. When Norsemen adapted the calendar, they named the day after Frigg, or Freya, Norse goddesses connected to love and sex. Both of these strong female figures once posed a threat to male-dominated Christianity, the theory goes, so the Christian church vilified the day named after them.
  • It was said that Frigg would often join a coven of witches, normally a group of 12, bringing the total to 13. This idea may have originated with the Christian Church itself; it’s impossible to verify the exact origins of most folklore.
  • 13 is unholy because it signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil.
  • The number 13 could also have been considered pagan because there are 13 months in the pagan lunar calendar. The lunar calendar also corresponds to the human menstrual cycle, connecting the number to femininity.
  • 9- In Norse mythology, the beloved hero Balder was killed at a banquet by the mischievous god Loki, who crashed the party of twelve, bringing the group to 13. This story, as well as the story of the Last Supper, led to one of the most entrenched 13-related beliefs: You should never sit down to a meal in a group of 13.
  • Another significant piece of the legend is a particularly bad Friday the 13th that occurred in the middle ages. On a Friday the 13th in 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.
  • Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.
  • Ultimately, the complex folklore of Friday the 13th doesn’t have much to do with people’s fears today. The fear has much more to do with personal experience. People learn at a young age that Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky, for whatever reason, and then they look for evidence that the legend is true. The evidence isn’t hard to come by, of course. If you get in a car wreck on one Friday the 13th, lose your wallet, or even spill your coffee, that day will probably stay with you.

Bad things, big and small, happen all the time. If you’re looking for bad luck on Friday the 13th, you’ll probably find it!

A scene in Final Destination 5, Not for the faint hearted!

Do you tweet? Follow @ChokolateHoney

Read More: How Friday the 13th works

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One comment

  1. Man, I didn’t even read your post…
    That’s one fucked up photo! lol

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