In any year there will be a Friday the 13th, and in 2009 there have been 3 – the most possible in a single year and something that won’t happen again until 2015. So we thought that it merited a closer look.
There is no written documentation of Friday the 13th being unlucky until the 19th century, but since most folklore was spoken, not written, it is hard to track the origin of this superstition. Here are some of the most popular theories, we’ll leave you to decide which is true:
Amalgamation of Superstisions:
– In numerology 12 is considered the number of completeness, and 13 is seen as irregular and unnatural. Friday has been seen as unlucky in many religions and cultures, even in the 21st Century.
– According to Norse mythology, Friday is named for Frigga (Freya), the goddess of love and fertility. When the tribes converted to Christianity, she was banished in to a mountaintop as a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the goddess convened a meeting of 13 (eleven other witches and the devil) and plotted evil deeds for the coming week.
– King Philip secretly ordered the mass arrest of all the Knights Templar in France on Friday, October 13, 1307 – Friday the 13th.
Friday the 13th as a day of Good Luck:
– The Chinese regarded 13 as lucky, as did the ancient Egyptians. To the latter, life was a quest for spiritual ascension which had twelve stages in this life and a thirteenth in the eternal afterlife.
Patriarchal Religions’ conspiracy
– There is speculation that the number 13 was vilified by founders of patriarchal religions because it represented femininity. Thirteen had been revered in prehistoric goddess-worshiping cultures because it corresponded to the number of lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year. As the solar calendar triumphed over the lunar with the rise of male-dominated civilization, it is surmised, so did the “perfect” number 12 over the “imperfect” number 13, thereafter considered anathema.