Paraskevidekatriaphobia: Fear of Friday the 13th

Team Udayavani, May 13, 2022, 11:21 AM IST

Today is Friday the 13th, according to the calendar and many people believe that the day is unlucky.

There are several ideas as to why and how Friday the 13th came to be associated with all things unlucky. Christianity is one of the most famous and possibly the oldest theories of all time. On Maundy Thursday, 12 people were present for Jesus’ last supper (Thursday before Easter). Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus and led to his crucifixion on Good Friday, was the 13th member at the table, according to the gospels.

Friday is also thought to be the day Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, as well as the day Cain slew his brother Abel.

Friday the 13th falls on a Friday in a month that starts on Sunday. There is at least one Friday the 13th in every calendar year, with a maximum of three. This year, there is only one Friday the 13th: May 13. ie, today.

Fear of the number 13 is known as ‘triskaidekaphobia,’ while fear of Friday the 13th is known as ‘paraskevidekatriaphobia.’ Isador Coriat first used the phrase in Abnormal Psychology in 1910.

The term paraskevidekatriaphobia comes from Greek. Friday is called paraskevi, thirteen is called dekatres, and dread is called phóbos.

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