History of Friday the 13th


Friggatriskaidekaphobia – the specific phobia of Friday the 13th (Frigga comes from the Norse goddess). Friday the 13th is a day when some people are ecstatic, and some are horrified. Religions and mythologies have contributed to this fear. For example, in the bible 13 is bad because of the last supper.

The Last Supper

Jesus dined with the 12 apostles and Jesus later died. Surrounding this myth, it is considered inappropriate to dine with 13 people and people will try to find out how many guests will be there and avoid it.

Around the number 13, Nordics believe that 13 is a bearer of misfortune because Loki is the 13th Pagan deity, God of deceit and evil, cruel to all men. While in Greek mythology, Philip II, the king of Macedon and father of Alexander the Great, was killed by one of his bodyguards for having his own statue placed next to those of the twelve gods of Olympus, and his death was punishment for his act of defiance to the gods. This relates to the 13th person dying, because his statue was the 13th in line with the twelve gods of Olympus. Now in Tarot cards, 13 is associated with the death card, though in some Tarot, death is considered positive because it is interpreted as being with resurrection.

Some places avoid using the number 13. For example, in hotels and apartments the 13th floor or for example room #113 is usually avoided due to this superstition and belief. Many airport don’t have gates A13, B13 or C13. No aircraft has carried the name F-13 because many pilots would refuse to board.

To show an example of how this affects real people, the composer Arnold Schoenberg was very superstitious. His last work is called “Moses and Aron” instead of Aaron because he avoided 13 letter titles like the plague. The artist also was born and died on the 13th day of the month.

In the Gregorian calendar, Friday the 13th always occurs at least once a year and can appear up to three times in any one year. This year (2022-2023) it only occurred once in May, and in the next year (2023-2024) in January and October which is super cool.

So, you can believe it or not, but the idea of Friday, the 13th, has a history worth knowing about.