Why is Friday the 13th considered a bad luck or unlucky day?
If you’re one of those people, who avoid traveling, going to work, eating in a restaurant or signing important documents, on Friday the 13th, you have paraskevidekatriaphobia. There is no need to call the doctor. It means a fear of Friday the 13th.
Ever since Christ was crucified, on a Friday, many Christians believe the sixth day of the week to be unlucky, reports InfoPlease.com. In addition, 13 brings bad luck because that is the number of persons who attended the Last Supper. But such superstitions go back even further than some 2,000 years ago. Norse mythology reviled the number 13. Loki, the most loathed of all the Norse gods, crashed a dinner party, designed for 12. As the 13th guest, he was said to cause the death of Balder, the god of light, joy and reconciliation.
Here are some superstitions, about Fridays:
Never change your bed, on a Friday, as it will give you bad dreams.
If you start a trip, on a Friday, you’ll have misfortune.
Cut your nails, on a Friday and you cut them for sorrow.
If ships set sail, on a Friday, they will have bad luck.
Friday is the witches’ Sabbath.
Here are some superstitions about the number 13:
13 is the Devil’s Dozen.
Should 13 people eat dinner together, all will die, within the year.
Just as many buildings don’t have a 13th floor, going right from 12 to 14, many cities don’t have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue.
There are 13 witches in a coven.
So, why is Friday, the 13th, supposedly unlucky? The best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, describes a popular theory, which claims it’s due to a single, historical event, which happened approximately 700 years ago: the decimation of the Knights Templar. This legendary order of warrior monks, first formed during the Christian Crusades, to battle Islam, was so powerful, by the 1300s, that it was seen as a political threat, to kings and the pope, reports About.com.
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici), also known as the Order of Solomon’s Temple, the Knights Templar or, simply, as Templars, were a Catholic military order, recognized in 1139, by papal bull Omne Datum Optimum, of the Holy See. The order was founded, in 1119, then active, from about 1129, to 1312.
The Templar order, which was among the wealthiest and most powerful, became a favored charity, throughout Christendom and grew, rapidly, in membership and power. They were prominent, in Christian finance. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles, with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the order, who formed as much as 90% of the order’s members, managed a large economic infrastructure, throughout Christendom, developing innovative financial techniques, which were an early form of banking, building its own network of nearly 1,000 commands and fortifications, across Europe and the Holy Land, while, arguably, also forming the world’s first multinational corporation.
Katharine Kurtz writes, in Tales of the Knights Templar: “On October 13, 1307, a day so infamous that Friday the 13th would become a synonym, for ill fortune, officers of King Philip IV of France [who was deeply in financial debt, to the Templars and with the encouragement, agreement and instigation of the Catholic pope, Clement V] carried out mass arrests, in a well-coordinated dawn raid, which left several thousand Templars (knights, sergeants, priests and serving brethren) in chains, charged with heresy, blasphemy, various obscenities and homosexual practices. None of these charges was ever proven, even in France and the Order was found innocent, elsewhere but, in the seven years following the arrests, hundreds of Templars suffered excruciating tortures, intended to force ‘confessions’ and more than a hundred died, under torture or were executed, by burning, at the stake.”