Happy Friday the 13th! I have never understood why this day freaks people out. So I thought I would check it out on the Internet. Ironically, this year, we will have 3 Friday the 13ths . . . exactly 13 weeks apart . . .in a Leap Year . . . in the year 2012. The doomsday people must be having a field day.
Personally, for me (a woman whose favorite holiday is Halloween), I love Friday the 13th. My friends and I used to go out to haunted places on a Friday the 13th. But for me, I love Fridays–end of the week. And 13 is a lucky number for me. Actually, all of my lucky numbers are odd–but I’m not “normal.”
So when I set out to find out the origins of Friday the 13th, I was none too surprised to find out that no one really knows but they think the origins of this “unlucky” day are tied to Christian beliefs. Big surprise there.
First off, except for Good Friday, Christians saw Friday as a day of “misfortune”–the 6th day of the week. Eve offered Adam the apple in the garden of Eden on a Friday. The Crucifixion, the Great Flood, and the confusion at the Tower of Babel also happened on a Friday. In literature, we can find references to Friday being a day of “mischance” going all the way back to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales written in the 14th century. By the 17th century, the idea of Friday being the “unluckiest day” was weaving its way throughout the majority of Western Literature. So then it became a common superstition that you should never undertake any kind of venture or endeavor on a Friday. Some even go as far in thought as avoiding ordinary tasks like writing letters, conducting business or seeking medical treatment on a friday because it is bad luck. In my world, we Thank God It’s Friday and we have a countdown to this glorious day.
Now as for the number 13 (my luckiest number), once again, the origins of the superstition are obscure but many sources link it once again to Christianity and the meal of all meals . . . The Last Supper. It is said that Judas was the thirteenth guest to sit at the table for The Last Supper, right before he betrayed Jesus which lead to the Crucifixion and then his suicide. And because of Judas, they say you should never have more than 12 guests at a table. If thirteen people sit down for a meal together, within a year, one will die. I wonder if anyone ever experimented with this idea?
So again, why thirteen? In Numerology, twelve is a holy number, the number of completeness–the twelve Apostles, the twelve months in a year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods at Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve descendants of Muhammad and my personal favorite, the twelve years of school. So since twelve is complete and perfect, then thirteen was considered irregular, odd and a transgression from completeness. So because it is irregular and incomplete, it must be eliminated, right? Only a dozen, no more. That last donut can’t fit in the box, it must be separated from the rest, the odd man out.
So now I understand why I love Friday the 13th so much. The world is telling you not to do anything on a Friday because something bad will happen–I like that excuse. And thirteen is an irregular, odd number. I like it. It is very Avant-Garde in my humble opinion. We shouldn’t fear this day, we should embrace it and enjoy it for being unique. So Happy Friday the 13th! Get your Superstition On!