Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

I noticed a hole in our regularly scheduled blog and at first I couldn’t understand why since we normally have a guest on Friday but then I realized today is Friday the thirteenth. Oh! That explains it. Who wants to post a blog on such an unlucky day?

Well, me, since I have no fear of Friday the 13th. (This statement practically guarantees I’ll be struck by lightening--so stand back!) The photo above is my dog, and I got her on a Friday--not a Friday the 13th--but she is one of the best things that ever happened to me. That is her first snow storm thirteen years ago. Just look at her face! If you fall instantly in love then you are in good company. Everyone who meets her can't help but long to cuddle her and give her treats!

But it got me to thinking about how 13 became such an unlucky number.

Well, in numerology, 13 would be distilled to 1+3 or 4 and that’s not an unlucky number. 4 is considered positive as practical, disciplined, loyal, and organized. In the negative, 4 is considered unproductive, incompetent, lax, inflexible, and crude.

However, an even dozen is considered by many the perfect number but a baker’s dozen is 13 (so he can have one of the treats--that’s what I think, which still doesn’t make 13 a bad thing!)

So, let’s go back to the number 13. A quick Google search yielded that 13 is considered bad luck in “English, French, and Portuguese-speaking countries around the world, as well as in Austria, Germany, Estonia, Finland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Philippines.” --(quoted from Wikipedia)

Triskaidekaphobia is the name given to the fear of the number 13 but sometimes this fear is called friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia.

Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, “Similar superstitions exist in some other traditions. In Greece, Romania, and Spanish-speaking countries it is Tuesday the 13th that is considered unlucky. In Italy, it is Friday the 17th.”

No explanation was given and I was too lazy to look it up because I wanted to talk about Friday the 13th. So what gives with the U.S. superstition? Well, there are those creepy movies but that springs from a pre-existing superstition.

Some think the fear goes back to the Last Supper with the thirteenth person being Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus. Also, Jesus was crucified on Friday and the great flood began on a Friday, so a lot of nasty biblical stuff happened on a Friday.

But other people think 13 is evil for a coven of witches has some power with 12 members but more with 13. Interestingly, I ran into some ideas that 13 was evil in that most women have, on average, 13 menstrual cycles a year. Sounds like a bit of misogyny to me! (Er, the picture to the side is me wearing my favorite sweatshirt with the number pi as a joke--Cow Pi. Now I got this shirt on a Friday the 13th so that's why I included the picture. I have destroyed six copies of this sweatshirt as it is my favorite!)

Friday and the number 13 are also related to capital punishment in British tradition, where public hangings happened on Friday and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.

Personally, I think you learn the fear of Friday the 13th just like you learn the fear flying. We are taught our fears through our culture. If you *think* Friday the 13th is unlucky, you are right. If you *think* Friday the 13th is just another day, you are right.

It comes down to what you think, what you expect. So, if any of you are brave enough to read the blog today, what do you think about all this Friday the 13th stuff? Have you had bad luck on this day or, like me, have you found your luck rather good on this day?


Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

LOL but I had slated this post to actually appear on Friday the 13th because I saw a hole in the calender. But then, I saw Evonne's post so I deleted it. Then, I found it on my hard drive so I decided to share. So maybe there is some truth to the weirdness of Friday the 13th!

Anyway, enjoy and please do share your tales about how numbers affect your life. :)

Evonne Wareham said...

Two post always better than one. I'm neutral on Friday 13 and my mother always insists that it is a good day, so not everyone is superstitious.

Any post with a cute dog on it deserves an airing, what ever the day!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Thanks Evonne! She's so cute I love to show her picture. Of course, she's even better in real life!

Savanna Kougar said...

Cute doggie! Yep, I bet she does get lots of attention and treats.

Friday, the 13th has traditionally been one of my better days. Have no clue why, although I was raised not to be superstitious.

Black Friday, when the all the Knights Templars were murdered, is thought to be one origin of Friday, the 13th, also.

That sweatshirt is pretty darn cool!

Tima travel ~ the wave of the future.

Terry Odell said...

I remember the Pogo comic strip where each month, he'd say something like, "Friday the 13th comes on a Tuesday this month" -- depending of course, which day was the 13th.

I've never paid it much attention, although the turnout at the library program for last Friday was low. Then again, there was a pretty nasty thunderstorm, too.

Lexie O'Neill said...

Okay, this is strange. I wrote a post saying I never worry about Friday the 13th and it evaporated into cyberspace. Maybe I'll worry from now on:)

Mel Hiers said...

What a sweet doggie-face! Give her an ear scratching for me!

I've never been really superstitious about 13. But I do notice numbers. There'll be days when every fine I take with have a 30 in there, for example.

Hey, Terry! Are you a library person, too?

Savanna Kougar said...

Terry, I remember that on Pogo. That's been ages ago!

Lexie, that is weird. But then, blogger can be pretty mysterious. Talk about needing a good luck charm sometimes when you're posting.

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Sav--that's interesting about the Knights. I think there are a lot of explanations about why the day is considered cursed. And thanks for the complement on the puppy and the sweatshirt!

Terry--LOL on the Pogo reference. I haven't seen that comic strip in ages but I remember it being of the wry humor type! Also, there is a very funny spoof movie called Saturday the 14th. "If you think Friday the 13th is bad, wait till you see Saturday the 14th!"

Lex--oooooo, spooooooky! But it happened to mine too. :)

Mel--ear scratch complete. She sends back a drooly kiss! I notice numbers like that too but I'm not issuing fines. Maybe I should . . .

Terry Odell said...

Library person in that I read their books, yes. And I have given a few library programs. But I don't work in a library (if I did, I'd never work!)

Mel Hiers said...

"(if I did, I'd never work!)"

I so hear you! It's hard to get through a day without finding a pile of books you want to read.:-)

Anyhoo, I thought I'd ask since you mentioned library program!