Friday The 13th: Reality Or Phobia?

Friday The 13th: Reality Or Phobia?

Are you afraid of that calendar date? Find out if your fear is well-founded or if it is just another day ...

What is the reason why such a date evokes fear, panic, and conjecture about thoughts of death, bad luck, and inevitable misfortune? The refusal on Friday the 13th has been introduced so much to our culture that only its mention can make many trembles with shiver sending chills down the spine. But is there a valid reason for such a date to be foreseen with horror or is it nothing more than superstition - a belief without a rational basis?

The number 13 and Friday began to have a bad reputation individually for several centuries. A look through fragments of historical information gives us some clues about how this unwanted date came to have the label it has.

A theory has its roots in the history of the Last Supper, in which there were 13 guests, the 13 Judas who betrayed Christ, who was crucified on a Friday day. Another speculation can be traced back to Norse mythology. When the Nordic-Germanic tribes were converted to Christianity, Frigga -considered as the goddess of love and fertility-, was not willing to convert to another religion and was exiled with the seal of a witch. The story goes that every Friday there was a meeting with 13 witches - one of them being Frigga - to draw the destination for the next week. For many centuries, in Scandinavia, Friday was known as the day of the witches.

Strengthening such a hypothesis there are two other interesting fragments of information. In the days of yesteryear, it was believed that Friday was the day when the witches -who used to gather together at 13- rested. Another theory that dates back to the fourteenth century speaks of when the knights of the temple were rich and powerful. King Philip IV of France, feeling jealous and threatened, ordered the arrest of all the knights on Friday, October 13, 1307.

In ancient Rome, the number 13 was considered by his bad luck. It was a symbol of death, destruction, and misfortune. Some numerologists interpret 13 as the cataclysm number. On the other hand, card 13 of the tarot represents death, which in reality symbolically indicates a transformation that may be difficult to perform. Another Nordic myth that offers an explanation of the bad luck associated with the number 13, is that of Odin, the king of the gods who invited the eleven great gods to a banquet but ignored the mischievous Loki. However, the latter self-incited causing problems that resulted in the death of the god Balder. Hence the superstition that if you invite 13 people to dinner, one will end up dead in less than a year.

Regarding the fear of Friday, some biblical experts say that some important events took place on this day, for example, Eva offered the apple to Adam on a Friday and the great flood also started on Friday. In the same way, if we go back to the fourteenth century, reference is made to the calamity of Friday in the Canterbury Tales of Chaucer that says: “And on Friday all this misfortune fell.”

In the Middle Ages, both Friday and the 13th had already gained a reputation for being the bearers of bad luck, and at some point, they came together to augur a day of fear. However, there is no proof or written documentation of the superstition of Friday the 13th until the nineteenth century. When analyzing the biography of Gioachino Rossini, the famous composer of The Barber of Seville, we noticed that Rossini - a very superstitious man like many Italians - died on Friday the 13th in 1869!

However, to date, there is no evidence or real evidence to support the paraskavedekatriaphobia, friggatriskaidekaphobia, triskaidekaphobia or rather known as phobia on Friday the 13th. However, in an era so technologically advanced, these phobias have taken root in our culture and, for some, it can govern your life. For example, many buildings do not have a 13th floor. On the other hand, anxieties about Friday are fueled because there are more people being shot on that day than on other days of the week. Some people use Friday the 13th as a good excuse to stay in bed all day in an attempt to avoid a possible catastrophe.

A belief can be powerfully validated by oneself, and the bad luck associated with this date can be self-fulfilling. Fortunately, Friday the 13th does not happen very often. On average, it falls around 18 times in a decade, every 212.35 days and 1.8 times a year. Goodness!

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