Udayavni Special

Friday, the 13th: Taboo and superstitions


Team Udayavani, Aug 13, 2021, 12:21 PM IST

Friday the 13th is considered the most cursed day in the western world. Superstition considers it a weird day and airline tickets go cheaper on this day.

August 13, this year marks the only Friday the 13th this year. Friday the 13th occurs in any month that begins on a Sunday.

Apart from being a cursed day, there is an actual fear of the number 13 and ‘triskaidekaphobia’ is the term for it. The fear of Friday the 13th is known as ‘paraskevidekatriaphobia’.

The number 13 has always been considered bad and often associated with several negative events and Biblical and medieval references. For instance, Jesus’s last supper was attended by 12 people on Maundy Thursday (Thursday before Easter). As per the gospels, the 13th person at the table was Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, leading to his crucifixion on Good Friday.

To top the above, Friday is said to be the day that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge and the day Cain murdered his brother, Abel.

Many believe that the bad luck around Friday the 13th originated from Friday, the 13 of October 1307, when King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Catholic military order.

Geoffery Chaucer, Father of English literature referred to Friday as an unfortunate day in The Canterbury Tales.

Although, this year’s solitary August 2021 Friday the 13th will recur in six years, on Friday, August 13, 2027.

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