Friday, August 13, 2010
Are you paraskavedekatriaphobic? (Or, Happy Friday the 13th)
Happy Friday the 13th!
An estimated 28 million Americans are staying home today, avoiding roads, shopping malls, the great outdoors, ect. All because of two little numbers that happen to fall on a Friday. As an extremely non-suspicious person myself, I was curious as to why Friday the 13th is considered so unlucky. In researching the 13th, I found some interesting facts, and some very old suspicions.
Do you have a phobia with the number 13? Surprisingly, its so common they gave these phobias names.
Friggatriskaidekaphobics is a phobia where a person worries that bad things could befall them each time the thirteenth day of the month lands on a Friday, as it does today and up to three times each year.
Those who fear the number 13 are said to have triskaidekaphobia.
And of course, we have paraskavedekatriaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13h itself.
So, is "Black Friday" as evil and unlucky as some people fear? Well, consider this:
It is considered extremely unlucky to sit 13 people at a dinner table. Suspicion states that the first person to rise from such a table will die within a year. This old rumor is thought to have originated from Biblical times with The Last Supper, as Judas the traitor was the first to rise, and the first to die.
Many buildings don't have a "13th floor." You'll see their elevator numbers skip from 12 to 14.
In a traditional hangman's noose there are 13 twists of the rope and 13 steps to the gallows. Also, a guillotine blade falls from a height of 13 feet.
Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Theodore Bundy, and Jack The Ripper each have 13 letters in their names.
The term 'baker's dozen' came into existence as a baker generally adds a 13th loaf to a dozen. This 13th loaf is offered to the devil in the hopes that it will keep him from ruining the rest of the basket.
According to legend, in the 18th century, the British Navy commissioned a ship called the 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.
Getting chills yet? Well, try not to worry. If you go looking for bad luck, bad luck is sure to find you. However, if you are the suspicious type, here are some things to avoid today.
(Spiderman fans will get this)
And of course, this guy.
But lets not let Friday the 13th get to us. I leave you with this video, hoping that you'll take today with a grain of salt, and if something unlucky DOES happen to you today, well, you can just blame Hollywood.