In this leap year, the 13th day coincides with Friday for the second time; the first was in March. And everything would be fine, if not for the fear of the number “13” and the numerous superstitious beliefs associated with this number. There are countless examples in history when it was on Friday the 13th that indefinable and unforeseen incidents or fatal troubles happened.
A wary attitude towards Friday, which falls on the 13th day of the month, arose relatively recently, at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. Prejudice was not without reason. Some people associate the mystical day with the Last Supper of Jesus, attended by 13 apostles, where the 13th was Judas, who betrayed his teacher. Others are inclined to believe in a combination of two unfortunate signs – Friday and actually the number.
Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini passed away on November 13 in 1868. It is noteworthy that the author of the famous opera The Barber of Seville was a rather superstitious person and considered Friday the day of failure and 13 – the number of failure all his life. There is another historical fact that seems interesting: in 1907, American writer Thomas Lawson published the novel Friday the Thirteenth. And in the same year, on the “day of double failure” – Friday, December 13, the message came about the wreck of the only seven-mast sailing ship in the world, named after the writer.
A coincidence, skeptics will say, but then even more tragic Fridays follow under the number 13. In medicine, a term has even appeared associated with the fear of the mystical number – triskaidekaphobia. The phrase is formed of two Greek words – triskaideka means thirteen and phobos – fear. Psychologists and psychotherapists denominate a specific fear of Friday the 13th as paraskavedikatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.
Nevertheless, no matter how “the day of double failure} is dubbed, opinions on the natural bad luck differ. Superstitious individuals try not to start new business on Friday the 13th, do not borrow money, do not get married, and especially suspicious people do not even go out and work from home. But as a short survey showed, for most people this is just an ordinary day of the week, and there is nothing magical or mystical about it.
At the same time, British surgeons are canceling operations scheduled for Friday the 13th, and many cinemas do not have the 13th seat. However the most superstitious were the Americans – 80% of multi-storey buildings in the United States do not have the 13th floor, and the 12th is immediately followed by the 14th. Some American airlines are deleting this day from the flight schedules, and the 13th gate is not found at many airports.
Mystic or not, but it was the thirteenth pillar of the Paris tunnel that the car with Princess Diana crashed into. The tragic accident happened on August 31 – the mirror number of 13.
In Japan and China, they are also wary of the number 13. And in recent years, triskaidekaphobia among the Japanese population has only increased. However, everyone decides for himself if to be afraid of “Friday the 13th” or not.