For those of you who suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia, or phobia of Friday the 13th, my thoughts are with you. For those that have a less debilitating fear of this day, hope you have a lucky Friday the 13th…?
The beginning of the Friday the 13th superstition is unclear. However, most people consider this day unlucky for many reasons. Here are a couple of theories about the origin of Friday the 13th:
- There is a superstition that the number 13 is unlucky. For instance, airlines will not have row number 13 and a lot of buildings skip floor 13. In numerology the number 12 is considered the number of completeness (e.g. 12 months of the year, 12 hours of the clock…you get the idea). The number thirteen was seen as “irregular” and disruptive to this “completeness.”
- Friday has been considered unlucky at least since the 14th century. Also, some Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on a Friday and therefore is an unlucky day.
If Friday the 13th scares you so much that you wish you could stay in bed all day in order to avoid it – You’re not alone! According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, N.C., it’s estimated that 17 to 21 million people the U.S. are affected by fear of this day. And approximately $800 and $900 million in productivity is lost on this day.
However, if your fear of this day is less severe, here are five things you can do on this day:
- Friday + pseudo-holiday = Party! Invite friends and use decorations such as black cats, paper ladders, and the number 13. Think of it as the second Halloween of the year.
- Watch Friday the 13th and other scary movies.
- Make a trip to a scary or haunted place.
- Research information about Friday the 13th and superstitions.
- Carry on with your daily activities and think of today as a regular day. In other words, don’t let a superstition turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy by thinking yourself into accidents.
What about you? What are your plans for Friday the 13th?