Here we are--Friday, 13th of the month!! How superstitious are you?
If you are worried about what's in store this time, then you're not alone. Psychologists have even come up with a word for how you're feeling – paraskavedekatriaphobia, or fear of Friday the 13th.
One option is to stay tucked up in bed all day to avoid any potential Friday the 13th bad luck that may come your way, or alternatively, you could ignore the superstitious chatter and embrace it. The number 13 has been considered unlucky for many years, even before Christ. The number 12 is historically considered the number of completeness, while its older cousin, 13, has been seen as an outlier.
There are 12 months of the year, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 hours of the clock, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 Descendants of Muhammad Imams, among many incidences of the pattern historically.
In many Western countries tall buildings are missing the 13th floor. In China the fourth floor and in some cases all floors with the number four are left out of Chinese buildings.
Houses often do not have a number 13, and many hotels, including the Carlton in London, miss out a thirteenth floor.
It is considered very unlucky for thirteen people to dine together, and the first to rise will reach serious misfortune – a superstition upheld by US President Roosevelt. He also refused to travel on Friday the 13th.In Somerset, it is said that whoever turns a bed on a Friday turns ships at sea. In Cumbria, babies born on a Friday were laid on the family Bible.In some areas, calling a doctor for the first time on a Friday is a certain omen of death. Cutting hair and nails on a Friday is a certain path to misfortune, and many couples will refrain from marrying on a Friday.
Dr Caroline Watt of the University of Edinburgh says that it is the belief in the Friday 13th superstition that could, in fact, prove the greatest risk to the average person: “If people believe in the superstition of Friday the 13th then they believe they are in greater danger on that day.
"As a result they may be more anxious and distracted and this could lead to accidents. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
“It is like telling someone they are cursed. If they believe they are then they will worry, their blood pressure will go up and they put themselves at risk.”