Friday the 13th. A day rooted in superstition and lore.
Why do so many people in the western world fear Friday the 13th? For many it is a day feared due to lore and superstition. People have put the number 13 up as bad and throughout history; Friday was not a good day to start anything new.
For some Christians, Friday and 13 signify two very negative happenings. According to Christian lore, Christ was betrayed by Judas on a Friday. And Judas was the 13th person to join Christ’s inner circle of apostles. A look at daVinci’s painting of the Last Supper and you see 13 people present – the 12 apostles and Christ.
Other happenings have given rise to the superstition of Friday and 13 as both being bad. Just look at the Apollo program and you will undoubtedly remember Apollo 13’s horrific journey.
A look at British naval history opens the window to the H.M.S. Friday. That ship was named Friday, skippered by a man named James Friday, and the crew was selected on a Friday. The maiden voyage was also on a Friday. Unfortunately the ship was lost at sea, never to be heard from again.
Historians suggest Norsemen adapted the calendar; Friday was named after Frigg, or Freya, Norse goddesses connected to love and sex. In the Roman calendar Friday was devoted to Venus, the Goddess of love. This devotion to the female was a threat to male dominance in the Christian world so the church vilified the day.
The number 13 is feared for many similar folklore tales. It is suggested that the number 13 signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil. Further lore adds power to the fear of 13 due to the pagan lunar calendar of 13 months. That calendar also relates to the menstrual cycle another tie to femininity and a threat to male dominance.
Another legend suggests that on a particularly bad Friday the 13th 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.
In British tradition capital punishment was handed out on Friday. Lore suggests that there were 13 steps to the noose.
All the superstition leads to Friday the 13th as being bad – very bad. Many people however believe that superstition is just that, and feel that you will receive whatever you wish for. So if you want to continue the superstition, than all you need do is continue to believe in it.
Happy Friday the 13th!
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