Does Friday the 13th freak you out? Will you be spending the day indoors in a padded room?
There are several theories as to why Friday the 13th is said to be so unlucky. One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions in that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day. Put them together and we have a super unlucky day! This year is a special one for Friday the 13ths: There are three of them......the freaky thing? The dates fall exactly 13 weeks apart!
The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia - "Frigg" is the Norse goddess whom Friday is named after and "triskaidekaphobia" means the fear of "13".
- It's not clear when or why Friday the 13th became associated with bad luck. The association may be biblical, given that the 13th guest at the Last Supper betrayed Jesus. His crucifixion was the next day, apparently a Friday. Or maybe 13 suffers from coming after the more-pleasing number 12, which gets to number the months, the days of Christmas and even the eggs in a dozen. (There are also 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel and 12 apostles of Jesus.)
3.This year is a special one for Friday the 13ths: There are three of them: Jan. 13, April 13 and July 13. The freaky thing? The dates fall exactly 13 weeks apart. That hasn't happened since 1984.
Whatever the reason, fear of 13 has spread far and wide: Hotels and hospitals often skip the 13th floor, and even airports quietly omit gate 13 sometimes.
The next year in which we'll have three Friday the 13ths is 2015. They'll fall in February, March and November.
Why does the Friday the 13th superstition stick so firmly in our minds? According to Thomas Gilovich, who chairs the department of psychology at Cornell University, our brains are almost too good at making associations. "If anything bad happens to you on Friday the 13th, the two will be forever associated in your mind, and all those uneventful days in which the 13th fell on a Friday will be ignored," Gilovich said in a statement. [13 Superstitions & Traditions Explained]
- For pagans, 13 is actually a lucky number. It corresponds with the number of full moons in a year.