From black cats crossing our paths, to seven years bad luck if we break a mirror, us Brits believe in more than our fair share of superstitions. Friday the 13th is no exception, with many of us shuddering when it appears on our calendars. But what are the reasons behind our paranoia?
There are a number of different theories about why people are so scared of Friday 13th.
Every year, we will normally see at least one Friday 13th take place.
Although for the UK and the US Friday 13th is seen as an unlucky date, its not a paranoia we share with the rest of the world.
Why is Friday 13th considered really unlucky?
For many, 12 is considered a ‘perfect’ number – with many expressing a fear that the number 13 is unlucky.
In this sense, there are 12 months in a year, 12 hours on a clock and 12 zodiac signs – with many believing 12 is a perfect round number.
Our fear of the number 13 may stem from myth or religion.
In Norse mythology, Loki causes chaos as the uninvited 13th guest at a feast for the gods.
In the Bible, Judas Iscariot is the 13th person at the Last Supper, and he later goes on to betray Jesus.
It is also possible that our fear of the day stems from stories, such as the novel ‘Friday, the Thirteenth’, which was written by Thomas W. Lawson in 1907.
What are some of the spiritual meanings behind the number 13?
Mama Donna Henes highlights in her article for the Huffington Post how many do not regard the number 13 as unlucky.
Henes said: “Both the day and the number were associated with the Great Goddesses, and therefore, regarded as the sacred essence of luck and good fortune.”
She later adds: “Representing as it does, the number of revolutions the moon makes around the earth in a year, 13 was the number of regeneration for pre-Columbian Mexicans.
“In ancient Israel, 13 was a sanctified number. Thirteen items were decreed necessary for the tabernacle.
“At 13 years of age, a boy was (and still is) initiated into the adult Jewish community.
“In Wicca, the pagan goddess tradition of Old Europe, communicants convene in covens of 13 participants.
“Thirteen was also auspicious for the Egyptians, who believed that life has 13 stages, the last of which is death — the transition to eternal life.”