Why Is Friday the 13th Believed to Be Unlucky?

Well, actually, no one knows why it is considered an unlucky day but people have their theories. From Jesus’ Crucifixion to Norse mythology and execution dates, here’s how Friday the 13th got its unlucky label.

First of all, the number 13 and the day Friday have always been thought of as two unfortunate things, so the combination is what makes people fear the day. To begin with, the number 13 isn’t seen as a lucky number because of the Bible. Jesus was betrayed by one of his 12 Apostles, Judas. At the Last Supper, Judas was the 13th person to arrive and people saw a correlation of the two, Judas and thirteen.

One reason why Donald Dossey, the founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, thought that 13 might be so hated has to do with Norse mythology. According to the legend, Loki was known for being cunning and evil, interrupted the 12 gods’ dinner at Valhalla, so essentially, he was the 13th and uninvited guest.

One last reason why 13 is seen as an unlucky number is because “12” has always been seen as the “complete” number. For instance, there are 12 months in a year, there are 12 zodiac signs, 12 Gods of Olympus, 12 sons of Odin, 12 labours of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel etc. Consequently, when 12 is seen as a “perfect” number, and 13 comes into the picture, people find it strange and unusual.

Now, why is Friday considered unlucky? Not many people could find a reason for this but it is said that it’s because in Britain Friday was known as “Hangman’s Day” because it was the day when prisoners would get executed as a form of punishment by hanging. Furthermore, in the late 19th century in the US as well all executions would take place on Friday. Lastly, Jesus’ Crucifixion happened on a Friday (as all crucifixions back then did), so people thought there might be a correlation between Jesus’ death and unluckiness.

As we can see, Friday the 13th is just a “misunderstood”day that people probably created, not because of things that are talked about in the Bible and not due to the executions in England or America, but as a way to make money. How many movies, TV shows, merchandise items, etc. have been made and carry the title “Friday the 13th”? I mean, if you think about it, it’s a smart move!

Angeliki F.

Proficiency Class

Dilou School

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