top of page

FRIDAY THE 13TH

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, which happens at least once every year but can occur up to three times in the same year. For example, 2015 had a Friday the 13th in February, March, and November, which will happen again in 2026; 2017 through 2020 had two Friday the 13ths; 2016, 2021 and 2022 had just one Friday the 13th, as will 2025; 2023 and 2024 have two Friday the 13ths.

A month has a Friday the 13th if and only if it begins on a Sunday.

History

Unluckiness of "13"

Main article: Triskaidekaphobia

One source mentioned for the unlucky nature of the number "13" is a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party in Valhalla. The trickster god Loki, who was not invited, arrived as the 13th guest, and arranged for Höðr to shoot Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Dossey: "Balder died, and the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day." This major event in Norse mythology caused the number 13 to be considered unlucky.

Christian associations

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

The superstition seems to relate to various things, like the story of Jesus' last supper and crucifixion in which there were 13 individuals present in the Upper Room on the 13th of Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday.

In conjunction with Friday

While there is evidence of both Friday[7] and the number 13[8] being considered unlucky, there is no record of the two items being referred to as especially unlucky in conjunction before the 19th century.

19th century

Gioachino Rossini by Henri Grevedon

In France, Friday 13th might have been associated with misfortune as early as the first half of the 19th century. A character in the 1834 play Les Finesses des Gribouilles states, "I was born on a Friday, December 13th, 1813 from which come all of my misfortunes".[11]

An early documented reference in English occurs in H. S. Edwards' biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on Friday 13th of November 1868:

"Rossini was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday 13th of November he passed away."

Dissemination

It is possible that the publication in 1907 of T. W. Lawson's popular novel Friday, the Thirteenth, contributed to popularizing the superstition. In the novel, an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th. [From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

Tuesday the 13th in Hispanic and Greek culture

In Spanish-speaking countries, instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th (martes trece) is considered a day of bad luck.

The Greeks also consider Tuesday (and especially the 13th) an unlucky day. Tuesday is considered dominated by the influence of Ares, the god of war (or Mars, the Roman equivalent). The fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade occurred on Tuesday 13 April 1204, and the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans happened on Tuesday 29 May 1453, events that strengthen the superstition about Tuesday. In addition, in Greek the name of the day is Triti (Τρίτη) meaning the third (day of the week), adding weight to the superstition, since bad luck is said to "come in threes".

There is a Tuesday the 13th in months that begin on a Thursday.

Friday the 17th in Italy

An Alitalia airplane is without the row 17!

In Italian popular culture, Friday the 17th (and not the 13th) is considered a bad luck day.[16] The origin of this belief could be traced in the writing of the number 17, in Roman numerals: XVII. By shuffling the digits of the number one can get the Latin vīxī ("I have lived", implying death at present), an omen of bad luck.[17] In fact, in Italy, 13 is generally considered a lucky number,[18] although some people may consider 13 an unlucky number as well due to Americanization.

The 2000 parody film Shriek if You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth was released in Italy with the title Shriek – Hai impegni per venerdì 17? ("Shriek – Do You Have Something to Do on Friday the 17th?").

There is a Friday the 17th in months starting on Wednesday


Recent Posts

See All

JULY--

FYI July is the seventh month of the year in the Julian and gregorian calenders. Its length is 31 days. It was named by the Roman Senate in honour of Roman general Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., b

Comments


bottom of page