Is Friday the 13th an old wives’ tale, just superstition, or reality?
So how unlucky is Friday the 13th?
Friday the 13th is known by many as the unluckiest day of the year.
This may all have originated from the word or phobia triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number thirteen.
Numerologists consider 12 a "complete" and divine number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 hours on the clock, 12 months of the year and 12 apostles of Jesus. Anywhere outside a bakery, then 13 is considered a transgression of this rule, which I love. You can never go wrong with one extra donut.
This fear of 13 can be seen even in how societies are built. For example, more than 80 percent of high-rise buildings lack a 13th floor. And many airports skip the 13th gate. Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room with the number 13.
On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 1/2. There is a longstanding myth that if 13 people dine together, one will die within a year. In France socialites known as the quatorziens (fourteeners) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
While many will laugh off the superstitious day, others will remain in bed paralyzed by fear and avoid daily tasks, conducting business or traveling. In the U.S., an estimated 17 to 21 million people suffer from a fear of Friday the 13th, according to a study by the North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute.
The phobia, a fear of Friday the 13th, known as friggatriskaidekaphobia, is not uncommon. The word comes from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named.
Accurate data is impossible to collect since many people around the world avoid certain activities, including travel and surgery on that day. Past Black Fridays notwithstanding, Friday the 13th may actually be a boon for finance. According to CNBC, the market has been up 80 times out of the past 140 Friday the 13ths.
According to research completed at the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) in 2008, there were fewer accidents and reports of theft or fire on Friday the 13th than on other Fridays.
Whatever you believe; Friday the 13th is a lucky or unlucky day, may good fortune be with you and the one extra donut.