Friday the 13th

Eileen van der Schyff

Friday the 13th – the day that holds a lot of superstition. There are a few origins to this “supernatural” day that caused people’s strange superstitions.

The fear of the number 13, “triskaidekaphobia”, created traditions such as restaurants missing out the 13th table and builders skipping the 13th floor when designing buildings to avoid bad luck.
Norse mythology tells the story of 12 people sharing a meal in Valhalla when a 13th person, Loki, the spirit of strife crashed the dinner and one person ended up dead. Interesting to note that for specific fears of Friday the 13th, one can choose between phobia names “paraskevidekatriaphobia” (Paraskevi, meaning Friday in Greek) or Frigga-triskaidekaphobia, based on the name Frigg, the Norse goddess that Friday was named after in English. The person who ended up dead at the meal in Valhalla by Loki, was her son.
Christians’ superstitions of this day originates from the Last Supper, where the 13th person at the table was Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the Romans. Jesus was also said to have died on Friday the 13th, known as Good Friday.
For those who fear Friday the 13th, the good news is that there can’t be more than three in any given year, and it is possible to go for as long as 14 months without one. If a month starts on a Sunday, you are guaranteed a Friday that falls on the 13th. This year we get a bit of a break as this day will only occur twice. One, which is today and then July are affected.


You must be logged in to post a comment Login