Friday the 13th – Superstition or something else?

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Jobe King and James Kramer

Friday the thirteenth is considered an unlucky day in the world of superstition. The belief of unluckiness on Friday the thirteenth has been around for many years. Typically, the thirteenth of each month falls on a Friday around once a year, but it can happen up to three times a year. This year, there are two. The first was on March thirteenth, and the second is November thirteenth. 

There are many different theories and beliefs about Friday the thirteenth. Most of them tie into unfortunate luck or spooky stories, and all are elements of superstition. Some beliefs are that black cats can cause unluckiness and crows or swarms of birds can be a sign of bad luck. Some traditions that go on during Friday the thirteenth are watching scary movies, telling haunting stories, and believing certain objects are unlucky or frightening. 

There are many theories about how the day originated. Since it is not a real holiday, or specific event that occurred on this day, there are many stories telling how the day was created. Most of them just so happen to have coincidentally fell on a Friday on the thirteenth day of the month. One theory is that thirteen is an unlucky number because there are twelve days of Christmas, twelve months, twelve gods of Olympus, and twelve tribes of Israel, making the next number, thirteen, unlucky. Because of all the belief that thirteen is an unlucky number, the belief has earned a name. It is called triskaidekaphobia. Another theory is that there were thirteen people that attended the Last Supper; Jesus and his twelve apostles.

Although there are many reasons for the meaning and origin of Friday the thirteenth, there is no definite explanation for how it originated. It is simply a day of superstition and tradition that creates humor and brings people together.