Friday the 13th is known for being the most unlucky day of the year, with many people fearing what the day entails.
The unlucky date will occur this week, not just for the first time all year, but for the first time all decade. And to honour the occasion, we rounded up 13 things you might not know about this ominous day.
Whether you think it’s unlucky or not, cross your fingers (and maybe your toes) and check out these 13 interesting facts about Friday the 13th.
How did it start?
There are a number of theories about the origins of Friday the 13th and its association with all things unlucky. One theory is that the superstition stems from early Christianity, because thirteen is the number of people present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles), which took place on Maundy Thursday. At the Last Supper, Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive. Jesus died the next day, on Good Friday.
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Not all cultures fear Friday the 13th
Not all cultures believe Friday the 13th is unlucky. In Spanish and Greek cultures, Tuesday the 13th is considered far more ominous. In Italian culture, Friday the 17th is considered to be even unluckier than the 13th.
Blame it on Sunday
For a month to have a Friday the 13th, it must begin with a Sunday. If you don’t believe us, check the calendar for yourself.
It can come in three
Friday the 13th will happen at least once a year but can occur as many as three times a year. In 2020, it will only occur twice, in March and November.
The fear is real
Millions of people in the world, including prolific horror writer Stephen King, have an irrational fear of the number 13, which is known as “triskaidekaphobia.” People also fear Friday the 13th, which is known as “paraskevidekatriaphobia” or “friggatriskaidekaphobia,” depending on who you talk to.
Near Philadelphia is the Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center, an organization that hosts parties centred on confronting common phobias like walking under a ladder, stepping on a crack, breaking a mirror and opening an umbrella indoors.
One of the first Friday the 13th stories was written by Thomas Lewson in 1907. The story, titled Friday, the thirteenth, was about a Wall Street broker who chose the day to enact his rage and destroy the stock market.
Celebrities and the 13th
A number of celebrities were born on Friday the 13th including Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Buscemi, and Peter Tork. Tupac Shakur died on Friday, September 13, 1996, after a hail of bullets hit his car in Las Vegas.
If you happen to be in Las Vegas and you’re in the mood to say ‘I do,’ the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel offers special zombie, gothic, vampire and Rocky Horror-themed ceremonies on Friday the 13th.
Friday the 13th in space
According to NASA, on Friday, April 13, 2029, a large asteroid called Asteroid 2004 MN4, will fly close enough to Earth to be visible without a telescope, but it will not hit.
Inspiration in film
The extremely successful Friday the 13th franchise includes 12 horror films, a TV series, six films adapted into novels, comic books, and more. The mask worn by the main character in the films, Jason Voorhees, is one of the most recognizable images in pop culture.
13 is a dodgy number
The number 13 has always been looked at as an odd number, while the number 12 is more complete. There are 12 months in a year, 12 hours of the clock, 12 zodiac signs, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 Gods of Olympus, and 12 Days of Christmas. Not to mention most elevators don’t have a 13th floor.
So, what comes in 13? Apparently, you need 13 witches to form a coven. Spooky.
With files from Ainsley Smith.