Black cats, broken mirrors and Friday the 13th lead the long list of ominous omens that bring fear to the hearts of the superstitious. We don’t even have to be very superstitious. We learned these omens in childhood which means they’ve been with us for our lifetime. That is likely why each omen seems to take on a life of its own.
We think of Friday the 13th as an inauspicious day, a day fraught with risk, a dangerous kind of day. In doing a bit of research, I discovered that Friday has long been considered a day of misfortune. Did you know? I did not. The truth is, many of us find Fridays to be happy days as they signal the end of our work week and the start of our playtime.
There are some among us, however, who won’t begin a new project or even embark on travel if it’s a Friday. In Christianity, Good Friday represents the crucifixion, the lowest point on their religious calendar. Fridays for some signify misfortune.
Then there is the number. We do not associate 13 with good fortune. The number 12 has all sorts of good luck attributes but 13 does not. Some among us even worried about our calendar year – 2013. Would it bring good fortune or not? What’s your answer, was it a year of good fortune for you?
Not everyone agrees on the day or the number. In Spain, it’s Tuesday the 13th that sets off shivers. The Greeks, too, fear Tuesday the 13th. In Italy, it’s Friday the 17th that is fraught with anxiety.
In 2008, a Dutch organization looked at Friday the 13th accident rates and discovered that there are fewer accidents, fewer fires and less theft on that date. Their conclusion? That people are generally more cautious on those days and that prevents accidents, fires and robberies.
There’s at least one Friday the 13th each year but never more than three. Today’s is the second Friday the 13th for 2013. Next year we’ll only have one – in June.
There’s a long list of superstitions that keep the superstitious busy throughout the year. Other bad luck signs are walking under a ladder, opening an umbrella indoors and that old bugaboo, breaking a mirror brings on seven years of bad luck. Oh yes, and the kids will remind us that to step on a crack breaks our Mother’s back.
May your Friday the 13th be a day of good fortune!