Today is Friday the 13th -- the most 'unlucky' day according to a western superstition. It is said that the evil rules when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday.
The date, which is the single-most dreaded occasion in the entire calendar, is thought to have been created by some genius minds by combining an age-old tradition that considers both Friday as well as the number 13 as 'unlucky'.
Over the ages, the day has come to register in human memory as a stark reminder of bad luck, strange happenings and morbid references such as murder and other ugly crimes, while inspiring some horror movies in the past.
'Friday the 13th' becomes a top trend in Twitter without fail every year and also the bone of contention on social media, whenever it happens. But what else do we know about this date? Is it true at all, that the day brings bad luck? How did such a theory come into being in the first place?
IBTimes India has rounded up 13 most interesting facts (yes, its 13 here too!) about Friday the 13th, including historical facts and some interesting insights into how it originated:
- In numerology, number twelve is considered to be a divine number, with a seemingly interesting organisational structure. It is the case, especially with references to things such as twelve months, twelve hours of the clock, the twelve deities of Olympus, twelve Apostles of Jesus and so on – that seem to depict chronological completeness.
- On the other hand, the number '13' is seen as an irregular and odd number that goes against the so called 'completeness.' There is also a superstition that having thirteen people seated at a table results in the death of one of them.
- Folklore has found no written evidence of "Friday the 13th" superstition. However, the earliest- known documented reference in English occurs in Henry Sutherland Enwards' 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who is thought to have died on Friday the 13th.
- One superstition says that if one cuts one's hair on Friday the 13th, someone in their family dies.
- According to another strange belief, a child born on this day will be unlucky for his/her entire life.
- In the 14th century's The Canterbury Tales, Friday has been considered to be an unlucky day. The day is also associated with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; he was crucified on a Friday and there were 13 people at the Last Supper. This could have led to the belief associated with the day.
- The scientific name for the phobia of Friday the 13th is 'Friggatriskaidekophobia'. 'Frigga' is the wife of the Norse God Odin after whom Friday is named, while 'triskaidekophobia' is the fear of the number 13.
- In 2014, Friday the 13th occurred only once, but this year the date will occur thrice – in February, March and November.
- Last year, the day coincided with a full moon—considered to be an out-of-the-way omen and thought to be one of the worst days in superstition.
- The fear of the number 13 is reported to be so pronounced in some parts of the world that some buildings refuse to have 13th floor and directly proceed to the 14th from 12th. Some constructors even refuse to make a building with more than 12 floors.
- In Spanish-speaking countries, it is not Friday that 13th that is thought to be the most unlucky day. Instead, they consider 'Tuesday the 13th' as a day of back luck.
- Legendary rapper Tupac was killed on Friday the 13th in Las Vegas (although there is no proof the date had anything to do with it).
- However, for a bonus fact, Friday the 13th and the number '13' have proved to be very lucky for singer Taylor Swift, who claims the number has helped her in life. "I was born on the 13th. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first #1 song had a 13-second intro," the singer told MTV in a 2009 interview.