Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky?
A British Medical Journal study showed a significant increase in traffic-related accidents on Fridays the 13th.
On Thursday, October 12, 1939, the town board of French Lick, Indiana, decreed that, beginning at midnight and continuing for 24 hours, all the black cats in town had to wear bells, so residents could avoid them on Friday the 13th that year. The board assigned the town marshal with the task of belling the cats.
Some historians trace the superstition back to Friday, October 13, 1307, when the Pope in conjunction with the King of France issued death warrants against the Knights Templar, declaring former crusader knights who had morphed into the banking giants of the Middle Ages as heretics. The King confiscated their wealth. Their grandmaster, Jacque DeMolay, was arrested, tortured and crucified.
The Bible teaches that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit on a Friday.
The Scandinavians considered number 13 bad luck because they believed 12 demigods ruled the world, but were joined by a 13th, Loki, who was evil and cruel — and delighted in bringing upon humans great misfortune.
Today, Friday the 13th is considered a day of bad luck in English-, French- and Portuguese-speaking countries around the world, as well as in Austria, Germany, Estonia, Finland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, and the Philippines.
However, in Greece, Romania and several Spanish-speaking countries it is Tuesday the 13th that is considered unlucky.
However, in Italy, Friday the 17th is dreaded as unlucky.
A 1933 study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that 95 per cent of college seniors and 91 per cent of freshmen at seven Midwestern colleges believed that “Friday the 13th always brings bad luck.”
Today, many airlines don’t have a 13th row of seats. It’s the rare hotel that has a 13th floor. The only Apollo mission to fail in a planned moon landing was Apollo 13 — which almost didn’t make it back safely to Earth after an explosion on April 13, 1970.
The Rail Gazette International carried the following report in its April 1979 issue that on theIndian Railway’s Hassan-Mangalore line, major difficulties plagued “the opening of Tunnel No. 13 where rock falls impeded progress for months. Even Alpine-trained Engineers were perplexed until some one came up with the simplest of solutions. The tunnel was renamed as No. 12-A and suddenly all was well.”
So, be careful out there today. But remember that at the Last Supper, Jesus was the 13th person at the table and the following Friday was rough, it all turned out well — the redemption of all mankind and such. Also, there were 13 original U.S. colonies, our flag still bears 13 stripes and everybody loves getting a bonus at the doughnut shop, a “baker’s dozen” — 13 goodies.
But for we people of faith, the answer is found in Isaiah:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel . . .
You are precious in my eyes, and honored,
and I love you . . .
Do not fear, for I am with you (Isaiah 43:1-5).
Those are some pretty outstanding promises from the Almighty. Kinda gives you strength for forget all this Friday the 13th silliness, eh?