The 13th

Tomorrow is my favorite holiday in the world, and it happens a couple a times a year: Friday the 13th. Why is it my favorite? Is it because I can scare the living daylights out of some people? Is it because of the intrigue of the history behind the day? Well, its a little bit of both. If you know me personally, you would know how much joy I get out of scaring people. Also, I am a totally geek when it comes to all things scary, but you will never catch me watching the movie Scream (NEVER AGAIN). That mask creeps me out way too much, but that is a story for another time.

Friday the 13th sparks fear into many people that this fear is considered to be a phobia, which falls under three names: Paraskevidekatriaphobia, Friggatriskaidekaphobia and Triskaidekaphobia. According to the North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, seventeen to twenty-one million people suffer from this fear.

It is amusing how much a number strikes fear into the hearts of millions, and it is not anything new. It is said that superstitions surrounding the number thirteen have been around since the 1700 BCE. Hammurabi’s Code in Ancient Babylon did not have the number thirteen. There is also a theory that if thirteen people eat dinner together, within a year, one of those people will die.

One of the stories behind the dinning superstition is that in Norse mythology, Odin invited 11 of his friends to dinner, but Loki, god of evil and mischief, crashed the event. In this story Loki was evil number thirteen.

But now, back to why Friday the 13th is an “evil” day.

In numerology, twelve represents being complete because there are many twelves in the world:

  • 12 months of the year
  • 12 gods of Olympus
  • 12 hour clocks
  • etc.

With twelve meaning completeness, thirteen interrupts the completeness, making it unlucky. Which leads to the first theory of the origin of the holiday being about The Last Supper. Much similar to the Odin example above. There where thirteen people at the dinner leading to Jesus’s crucifixion, which occurred on a Friday.

Another theory revolves around the Norse goddess Frigga of love and fertility. Does Frigga look familiar? It should. One of the names for the fear of Friday the 13th is friggatriskaidekaphobia. It’s not just a coincidence. It is believed that Frigga, when Christianity came to the area, that she was denounced as a witch and was forced into the mountain where she met with 11 witches and the Devil to get revenge. Oh, and did I mention that her name means Friday. Well, it does.

There is also there this less known theory, which is really obscure. It that the Templar Knights were arrested by King Philip IV on October 13, 1307, a Friday.

The sources of my information will be at the very bottom. But first, I think that whether you think that Friday the 13th the realest thing ever or just something stupid I have left some ground rules that you should follow, and they are as follows:

  1. Don’t walk under ladders
  2. Don’t spill salt
  3. Don’t go to a motel/hotel to have sex
  4. Don’t go into the woods by yourself
  5. If you do go into the woods, don’t separate from the group
  6. Make sure you get your car tuned up
  7. Don’t summon ghost
  8. Don’t summon demons
  9. Don’t go into abandoned buildings
  10. Don’t use an Ouija Board (I think I spelled that right)
  11. If you hear the a noise, don’t ask who it is
  12. Don’t do anything stupid that is in every horror movie ever.

Sources:

http://www.gotquestions.org/Friday-the-13th.html

http://www.ibtimes.com/friday-13th-history-origins-myths-superstitions-unlucky-day-395108

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_the_13th (I had to; it was the first source)

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