Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky? Here is what you need to know

If you are superstitious then Friday the 13th may strike fear into your heart.

Thursday, 12th November 2020, 2:21 pm
black cat are often seen as being a sign of bad luck

It is considered by many people to be the unluckiest day of the year – we have one coming up this week.

There are many superstitions every day people may believe in, from saluting magpies to avoiding cracks in the pavement, but the unluckiest day of the year is one of the most famous. With this author firmly subscribing to the belief that it brings misfortune.

But what is it about Friday the 13th that makes people think it gives you bad luck? Here’s what you need to know:

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When is the next Friday the 13th?

It will take place on Friday, November 13 – so tomorrow.

However if you are superstitious there is another one coming up just around the corner.

There was already a Friday the 13th earlier in 2020 but fortunately there will only be one each in 2021 and 2022.

A Friday the Thirteenth occurs when the first day of the month takes place on a Sunday.

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13 is seen as an unlucky number

The word Triskaidekaphobia is the name for people who have a fear of or try to avoid the number 13.

The term gets its name from the Greek word treiskaídeka meaning thirteen and phóbos meaning fear.

It was used as early as 1910 by American psychologist Isador Henry Coriat.

One of the theories why 13 is considered an unlucky number is that in the Bible, Judas Iscariot was the thirteenth disciple to take a seat at the Last Supper and he then betrayed Jesus.

Why is Friday the Thirteenth considered unlucky?

While there is no definitive origin that can be pointed to as a reason why it is considered an unlucky day – but as noted above 13 is seen as an unlucky number while Friday was also considered unlucky in its own right.

This again comes from Christianity as Friday was the day that Jesus was crucified and were seen as a day of penance and abstinence.

So the mix of Triskaidekaphobia and superstition around Fridays may have evolved into the belief that this particular date was unlucky.

Another one of the suggested theories for the origin of Friday 13th being seen as unlucky is believed to be because of French King Philip IV’s arrest of the Knights Templar on Friday, October 13, 1307.

According to research it has been estimated that Friday the 13th costs businesses in America an estimated $800 or $900 million – because people are scared to take flights, go about their normal business or even leave their bed.

What disasters have happened on Friday 13th?

Here is a brief list of bad things that have happened on the unluckiest day of the year:

- The Costa Concordia cruise liner disaster which killed 32 people, happened on January 13, 2012

- Buckingham Palace was bombed on September 13, 1940, during WW2

- In 1972, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed a glacier in the remote Andes on October 13

- Tupac Shakur passed away on September 13, 1996, after being shot on September 7

Do you think Friday 13th is unlucky? Or is it just a silly superstition? Let us know in the comments below!

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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