Today is the day: the calendar day of bad luck, Friday the 13th. A day that is avoided by some, but not pay attention to by many. The fear (aka paraskevidekatriaphobia), or conscienceness of this supposed unlucky day, is crippling to those who believe in its negative energy.
Wikipedia states: According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. Many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects.
Good thing Friday the 13th only pops up once or twice a year.
But, I questioned: who decided that this day, of all 365 days of the year, is bad luck? I did as any good journalist would and Googled it (…jokes.).
I discovered that though there is no written documentation of this bad luck theory prior to the 19th century, it was stated in the biography of Gioachino Rossin, a famous Italian composer, that Friday was an unlucky day and 13 was an unlucky number:
[Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13th of November, he died.
It has also been suggested that Friday has been considered an unlucky day because, according to Christian scripture and tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday. One theory suggested by OJ Ivey states that Jesus dies on a Friday and there were 13 people at the last supper.
I’ve never considered Friday to be unlucky (what’s so bad about pay day?), though I do try and keep a comfortable distance from the number 13. Random, yet fun fact: I was supposed to be born on November 13th, but I was 10 days late, and was born on November 23rd. So even in the womb, I avoided that number.
I took to my Twitter and Facebook pages asking my friends how they felt about the 13th. While writing this post, 10 people have responded all saying “no” they are not affected by this day, and at least 4 said they didn’t even notice the day and date until it was brought to their attention.
Granted, bad luck can happen on any day of the year, but it’s only really noticed when this days comes around. So if you are bothered by this day, just go with it. If you don’t feel right starting a new project or singing that contract, don’t. It’s your prerogative. And those who aren’t bothered…good job! After all, it’s just another day.
Stevie Wonder – Superstitious
This song seems very appropriate for the topic at hand.