I’ve been told that fear is a waste time. Right. Tell that to the Lion….. and my shaking boots.
Apparently, a whole lot of people fear this day. Yep. Good old Friday the 13th. The fear of this day is called friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen).
According to people who study such things….. there is no written evidence for a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 19th century.
There is the first “found” mention of it in Henry Sutherland Edwards’ 1869 biography of a guy named Gioachino Rossini. It says….”Rossini was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; Why Friday the 13th Is Unlucky.”
What the heck that means to the rest of us… I have no stinking idea.
Consequently, several theories have been proposed about the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition. Now…. it is said that in numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness. This comes around in several ways… like with the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 Descendants of Muhammad Imams. I mean, this whole number 12 thing goes on and on. In fact…. one of the coolest people I know was born on 12/12. Whacky.
On the other hand….. the number thirteen was, and is, considered irregular…..transgressing this completeness of the number 12. Personally, I take comfort in the number 7… or even the number 8.
There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners. Just a teensy-weensy little tip when you are planning your next dinner party.
And what about the day itself? I mean, why Friday? Well…. from what I can gather….. It has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales. I have never read those particular works of Chaucer’s… so I am not sure what the reference is there…..
I always thought it was named that way… because you are supposed to fry things on that day …. FryDay. And we all know fried foods are bad for you…. cholesterol and heart disease and such…. but I guess that’s not it.
But back to the future.
The Fact-Filled-Folks say that an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day making it the most feared day and date in history. Yowza. They also report that people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. They say….”It’s been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day”.
That’s a lot of dough. And fact finding.
I used to be a bit superstitious about it. Not so much anymore.
(Tonight we toured the “supposed” very haunted Old City Jail of Charleston, SC. This place has been on Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State. I don’t think I bumped into any ghosts tonight…. but I thought that going on Friday the 13th might help bring them out. But no. Not even a boo. Or a chain rattling.)
But the way people act about Friday the 13th… you would think there is some crazy guy running around with a hockey mask on, and being careless with a chainsaw…. or something….
Again. Certain people remind me that it is all a bunch of garbage. As with any of these ballyhoos…. they are largely unfounded. Baseless fear. Myth. Legends. And so it goes.
So the truth be told… I am not at all afraid of Friday the 13th. Blooey, I say.
On the other hand…. Monday the 24th is an entirely different matter. I am SO afraid of Monday, the 24th….. Yar. Now that is a scary date.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. “- Mark Twain