According to urban legend, Friday the 13th is a very unlucky day. In fact, so many people genuinely have a morbid fear of the day that there is a word for it: paraskevidekatriaphobia. The word is derived from the Greek words paraskevi (Friday) and dekatria (thirteen). The suffix, phobia, indicates fear. For many people, it is a day to stay inside, avoid ladders, mirrors and black cats. Experts claim that paraskevidekatriaphobia actually affects millions of people around the world and that businesses (especially airlines) suffer severe losses on Friday the 13th.
In honor of today’s date, here are some interesting facts probably didn’t know:
1. It’s Unclear Why the Date is Feared
Some historians believe that the superstitions regarding Friday the 13th began in the 19th century, but very little is really known about the origins of the day’s significance. The first documented notation about Friday the 13th is found in a biography of Italian musician and composer Gioachino Rossini, who died on – you guessed it – Friday the 13th. Another book entitled Friday the Thirteenth and written by American author, Thomas Lawson, was published in 1907 and may have further enhanced the superstition.
Yet, others believe that the superstition has origins in the Bible. Jesus was crucified on a Friday and there were 13 guests at the Last Supper, one night before his Crucifixion.
2. Friday the 13th Can Come Up to Three Times a Year
Every year has at least one Friday the 13th. However, there cannot be more than three Friday the 13ths in any given calendar year. The longest we can go without experiencing a Friday the 13th is 14 months.
3. Research Suggests That Friday the 13th is Not Actually Unlucky
There is very little evidence out there that shows Friday the 13th is in fact an unlucky day. Many studies have shown that Friday the 13th has little to no effect on incidents like hospital visits, natural disasters or accidents.
4. The Day Inspired One of the Highest Grossing Film Series of All Times
Almost everyone has seen or at least heard of the Friday the 13th movies. The enterprise includes 12 horror movies, a TV series and many books. Even though the movies and the television series are quite campy and consistently received bad reviews by critics, they have amassed a huge following. One of the most known images in pop culture is the iconic mask worn by the main character in the films, Jason Voorhees.
So, enjoy the rest of your Friday the 13th and don’t fret about luck!