Friday, November 13, 2009

Do You Have Paraskevidekatriaphobia?

I don't. But you can't deny the date. Here's a little light reading for you...

Friday 13th fears stem from history


Issue date: 11/13/09 Section: Variety

About 21 million Americans suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13th, or Black Friday.

They avoid daily activities that could potentially put them in harm's way and some are too afraid to get out of bed in the morning.

But why? Where did the superstition come from?

One theory suggests 12 is the most complete number. It occurs in common cultural references - 12 months in a year, signs of the Zodiac, labors of Hercules, tribes of Israel, gods of Olympus and apostles of Jesus Christ. Thus, 13 is considered irregular.

Friday has been considered unlucky, and therefore a bad day to start a new journey or project - stemming from the Canterbury Tales. Also, according to Christian scripture, Jesus was crucified on a Friday.

In the 13th century, the Knights Templar were arrested by King Philip in France on Friday the 13th.

Another belief comes from Norse mythology, in which Frigga, the goddess of love, was banished to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. Every Friday, Frigga would call 11 other witches to the top of the mountain to plot evils for those below. The 12 witches would gather with a 13th guest - the devil. Similarly, in Roman times, witches are said to have gathered in groups of 12 with the 13th member being the devil.

Another part of Norse mythology states 12 gods were gathered at dinner in heaven - Valhalla - when an uninvited 13th guest, the god of darkness, shot Balder, the god of joy and gladness. When Balder died, the world went dark, and from that moment 13 was considered ominous.

Likewise, in Christian scripture, there were 13 diners at the Last Supper, following which Jesus was killed. Many myths claim when 13 people dine together, ill fate awaits one of the diners.

There is no written evidence of a "Friday the 13th" superstition before the 19th century. The first written reference was in 1869 in the biography of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. Generally, Italians separately regard Friday and 13 to be unlucky, but on Friday the 13th, Rossini died.

Read more HERE


Mrs. G said...

Interesting read.

Greet said...

Woouw that was interesting! I did not know where that superstition came from!

Have a nice weekend!

Kitty said...

very cool post!