My kiddo asked why people dislike Friday the 13th, so we decided to investigate the superstition surrounding the day. We found these facts about Friday the 13th:
1. Afraid of Friday the 13th? Fear of the day is known as paraskevidekatriaphobics. (Say that 13 times fast.) Fear of just the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia.
2. If you have it, you are not alone! As many as 21 million American are afraid of Friday the 13th.
3. It happens at least once every year, and can happen as many as three times a year. Today is the only one in 2014, but 2015 will have three, in February, March, and November.
4. The negativity surrounding the number 13 goes back to the days of Christ. The 13th guest at the Last Supper, Judas, was the one who betrayed Christ. Christ was then crucified on a Friday.
5. Even before that, Abel is believed to have killed his brother Cain on Friday the 13th.
6. 13 also gets a bad rap because it follows the number 12, which is considered a really good one. There are 12 signs in the zodiac, 12 months in a year, etc. It is considered complete and 13 is just a bit beyond complete, which makes people uncomy, Thomas Fernsler, an associate policy scientist in the Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center at the University of Delaware in Newark, told National Geographic.
7. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of those who refused to travel on the 13th and would not host a dinner party with 13 guests.
8. He’s not the only who not into traveling. Estimates show that the airline industry loses approximately $800-900 million in business because people refuse to fly on Friday the 13th.
9. The dinner party issue isn’t a new one. A story in Norse mythology details how Loki crashed a party for 12 other gods. Loki was known for causing problems and he arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to kill Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, an act that plunged the world into darkness. Not a good day.
10. Ever notice how many buildings do not have a 13th floor? More than 80 percent of high-rise buildings lack a 13th floor.
11. In Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 1/2, instead of 13.
12. The full moon here was beautiful last night, but maybe that’s not all good news. Friday the 13th falling on a full moon is considered really, really bad, and that happened in the Eastern time zone, because the exact time of the full moon as 12:11 EST. Those of in the Central Time Zone and west need not worry. Phew!
13. It is relatively new, however, experts say that there are no mentions of Friday the 13th before the 19th century. The horror film franchise Friday the 13th, which debuted in 1980, seemed to give Friday the 13th a big PR platform.
Hope that, despite the date, you have a good and lucky day!
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