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Friday the 13th Explained

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Friday the 13th Explained

cat-195256_640Stay inside, lock your doors, and grab your good luck charms. Today, unfortunately, it is Friday the 13th! On this day, millions around the country will deal with friggatriskaidekaphobia, sometimes paraskevidekatriaphobia: a fear of Friday the 13th.

Have you ever wondered, though, why this day is considered so unlucky?

Well, we did a bit of investigating and may have the answers you seek. (Or may be we don't.)

Why is Friday the 13th considered bad luck?

Historians have long studied the religious significance of Friday.

Some believe that Adam and Eve’s exodus from the Garden of Eden occurred on a Friday. Further, Judas was identified as the 13th person to be seated at the last supper. On the next day, a Friday, Jesus was crucified. The temple of Solomon was also believed to have been destroyed on a Friday.

The word Friday is derived from the Norse Goddess Frigg AKA Freyja. The Teutonic people believed that love, wisdom, beauty, war, death and magic were all controlled by Frigg. A fear of this goddess made many of the Teutonic people reluctant to hold ceremonies on Fridays. Historians speculate that an attempt by the Christian church to villainize Frigg helped to increase the Teutonic people's fear of Fridays.

The unluckiness of the number thirteen predates Jesus’s arrival. Throughout history the number 12 was said to represent completeness. This idea permeates many facets of our human culture. There are 12 months in a year, 12 hours on a clock, 12 apostles of Jesus. The number 13, represents a disruption of this “natural” order.

Many who practice Hinduism believe that the number 13 is inherently unlucky. Some of these individuals will refuse to gather a group of 13 for fear of the consequences.

The hatred of the of the number 13 even permeated Viking cultures. This hatred stems from a legend which chronicles the killing of a Norse god. An uninvited Loki sauntered into a banquet being held by the gods. With his arrival, Loki brought the total number of attendees to 13. While at the feast, Loki manipulated Hod (the god of winter) into killing Balder the Good (the god of peace love, and forgiveness). The gods wept, and negative connotations associated with the number 13 continued to spread.

The idea of Friday and the number 13 representing bad luck in tandem finally became widely accepted in the 19th century. (Some believe that this occurred with the mass incarceration of the Knights of Templar in the fourteenth century, but there is little evidence to support this.)

It is estimated that $800 to $900 million in business revenue is lost on this day because people simply refuse to go to work or even step outside.

If we remember the case of Daz Baxter we may find it futile to live in a bubble on Friday the 13th. Baxter resigned himself to staying inside his home on Friday the 13th to avoid unluckiness. Imagine his surprise when his entire apartment block fell to ruin. Baxter fell six floors and died.

Moral of the story: Live your life everyday.

About the Author

Everett Millman

Everett Millman

Analyst, Commodities and Finance
Managing Editor

Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.

In addition to blogging, Everett's work has been featured in CoinWeek, Advisor Perspectives, Wealth Management, Activist Post, and has been referenced by the Washington Post.

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