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Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th: Superstition vs Reality

FRIDAY THE 13TH is back! Avoid black cats, mirrors, ladders and do not spill the salt. One of the most widespread superstitions of modern day is that Friday the 13th is an inauspicious day. In this symbolism, both Friday as well as 13 are considered to be unlucky and when added, their sum accounts double trouble.

Superstitions revolving around Friday the 13th as being unlucky have existed since ancient times beginning with the Northern countries. The modern day context originated from October 13, 1307 which is regarded as a black day in history. The catastrophe that occurred this day was known as the ‘Decimation of the Knights Templar’, the legendry order of ‘warrior monks’ formed during the crusades. Acclaimed as a fighting force for 2000 years, the order had grown so powerful; it was perceived as a political threat by kings and popes alike who sought to bring it down.

On the infamous Friday of October 13, 1307, officers of King Philip IV of France carried out mass arrests in a well-coordinated raid that left thousands of knights, templars, sergeants and priests charged with heresy, obscenities and homosexuality. None of these charges were ever proven, but the seven years following the arrests thousands of templars and knights suffered excruciating tortures and many of them were executed by the burning stake.
Ancient Romans committed the sixth day of the week to Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. When the Norsemen adopted the Roman method of naming days, they called it Freya, a translation for the goddess which eventually evolved into Friday, which was considered to be the luckiest day of the week.

Muslims regard Friday as the day God created Adam and Christians consider it as the day on which Christ was crucified.

According to a popular Scandinavian belief the number 13 indicated bad luck which resulted from Loki, their 13th demigod, who inflicted great misfortune on humans. In Christianity, Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest at the table of The Last Supper.
The biggest drawback in the theory stating that Friday the 13th is unlucky is the fact the there is no documentation of such beliefs prior to the 19th century. There is no evidence to back the fact that people observed it as a day likely to bring misfortune. Superstitions originate from beliefs or practices man used or is using to protect himself. It throws light on the fact the somewhere all of us are insecure. Despite the advancements in science and technology we are still unable to contest the paranormal.

People tend to overlook superstitions unless they are backed by concrete scientific evidence. The origin of every superstition is a belief. The phobia of Friday, the 13th is called Paraskevidekatriaphobia.

Interesting facts
The number 13 is despised by many to this extent that certain cities do not have a 13th Street or Avenue.
Some buildings do not have a 13th floor.
Certain hotels do not have a room numbered 13.
The opera house in Italy has also avoided the number.

Numerology and the number 13
According to numerology, the number signifies change. This can be positive as well as negative. Nothing associated with the number is jinxed. It is an utter myth.

Hype about Friday the 13th
After the release of the Hollywood blockbuster Friday the 13th the media created much hype about the day being ill-fated and unlucky.
Friday the 13th is not a day to be despised. We live in a superstitious world and it is likely for many to be paranoid in response to certain phobias. Today being Friday the 13th thousands of people will stay indoors, avoid driving and indulge in a number of religious affairs to ward off the so-called ill-effects of the day. Any kind of fear is a creation of the mind. One needs to learn to overcome such superstitions and beliefs by taming the mind in the right way.

Source: Simara Starr from merinews


Jeffrey said...

Good post! The legends and beliefs surrounding days like this are the most interesting thing about them.

Two things: By the 14th century the Templars had been around for 2000 years? I always thought they were a Christian orginization. Were they associated with the Jews in pre-Christian times?

Thing 2: For many of us people who are ambivalent or worse about things that are out of our control and beyond rational understanding (as fascinated as some of us are with these things), change itself is a jinx. That banana peel may enable me to avoid a bullet, but I'll still curse it as I'm falling down.

Or something like that.

Haunted TUNA said...

I had NO thoughts that it was Friday the 13th yesterday except when I skyped with a friend just before Friday midnight...

No bad luck happened to me, did anything bad happen to you Aura?

Aura said...

Hi Tuna. Friday was good to me. I don't pay much attention when the 13th falls on Friday's. Just another day for me.

How do you like Skype? I was thinking about getting it.

Have a good one

Aura said...

Thanks for your comment jeffrey. I don't know if the Templars were???

Haunted TUNA said...

Same as me then..

Skype is great! I recommened Everyone to download it!! :)

Steve said...

Friday the 13th came and went without me even being aware of it. It was only the next day, when I saw it mentioned on various blogs that I realized about it.

If I had realized the date I am the kind of guy that would probably find 13 ladders to walk under and have a black cat on a leash to walk ahead of me and guide me on my way. I'm just not superstitious at all, which is a good job really because I own massive book about superstitions and have read most of it. Believe you me, if I were a superstitious person I wouldn't dare leave the house after reading that.

Aura said...

I had a friend who was very superstitious. We were driving to the beach one day when a black cat crossed our path. She had to turn the car around and go backwards to undo any curse/harm that would come out way. If I was driving I would have kept going without any hesitation.