And sometimes, there are more than one Friday the 13th in a year, but we are going to put all superstitions aside, especially me, because there are 3 black cats living in the basement of our apartment building, and can be usually seen laying in the sun right outside it. But today is an unlucky day even for them! Because it’s raining on and off, and no cat is going to want to lay on some wet grass!
I am not superstitious, and the only thing that scares me on Friday the 13th, is the movie, which I have never seen! Thus, today is just a regular Friday, and quiet a relaxing one, because I am only teaching one ESL lesson (vs. the 5 I had yesterday, that’s a real treat!)
Though being the teacher that I am (I really don’t know if you can call me that, but I try my best, with an occasional tweet on how annoying some of the students are), I looked into some interesting facts about Friday 13th.
But History first:
Some people (I can’t really call them scientists, because studying Friday 13th is NOT a science) believe that you can track the origins of this holiday as far back as 1700 BC!!!! But wait, it’s not just the number, it’s also the FRIDAY! Remember Chaucer, the one who wrote Canterbury Tales? I can proudly say that I do, because I studied this particular work of his in High School! Anyways, Friday has been believed to be an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects since 1400! Then there is Black Friday, which has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. Now Black Friday is actually one lucky Friday for all crazy shoppers out there, like me!
I also cam across this interesting Norse legend, which explains the origins of Friday 13th.
“Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil — a gathering of thirteen — and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as “Witches’ Sabbath.”
Some people even mention Jesus’ death, since he died on Friday, and there were 13 people at the Last Supper. As if there is a connection here, but I am just saying!
But my favorite Friday 13th related story is this:
Thirteen is so unlucky, in fact, that in 1881 an organization called the Thirteen Club attempted to improve the number’s reputation. At the first meeting, the members (all 13 of them) walked under ladders to enter a room covered with spilled salt. The club lasted for many years and grew to more than 400 members, including five U.S. Presidents: Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
The most common Friday 13th superstitions are:
- Don’t walk under a ladder
- Don’t let a black cat cross your path
- If you break a mirror, you’ll have seven years bad luck (in Russia you are also not supposed to sit at the corner of the dinner table, because if you do, you won’t get married for 7 years!)
- Don’t open an umbrella indoors
- Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back
- It’s bad luck to sing or sleep at the table
- A bird that comes in through a window is bad luck
- Don’t refuse a kiss under mistletoe
- Don’t chase someone with a broom (Use a frying pan instead!)
- Don’t drop a dishcloth
- Only get out of bed on the same side that you got in bed
- Don’t rock an empty rocking chair
- Don’t wear an opal unless it’s your birthstone
- Don’t smell dandelions, otherwise you’ll wet the bed (FYI, dandelions don’t smell! Those weeds!)
- Don’t give someone a wallet without money in it
Some less common superstitions, related with number 13:
- Airports skip Gate 13
- Hospitals and hotels skip room 13
- Apartment buildings skip 13th floor
- Some cities skip 13th street
- There is no aisle 13 on the plane
- In Italy 13 isn’t in the National lottery (You must take it really seriously there!)
Some more interesting facts:
- Certain ocean liners will be held in dock until after midnight to appease passenger’s fears on Friday the 13th.
- British study concluded that even though there were less cars on the road on Friday the 13th (as compared with other Fridays) more accidents were reported.
- On the USA Dollar Bill, there are 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 bars on the shield, and 13 leaves on the olive branch.
- Apollo 13, 1970, the 13th mission launched from pad #39 (13 x 3), mission was aborted, after an explosion occurred in the fuel cell of their service module. The rocket had left launcing pad at 13:13 CST and the date was April 13th.
- On Friday the 13th, 1979, a black cat crossed the path of Houston football player Tony Frisch and was accidentally kicked 67 yards for a world record
- On Friday the 13th in 1962 a Colorado couple, while watching Channel 13 in the honeymoon suite of a Las Vegas motel, were crushed to death by a falling mirror.
- On Friday the 13th in 1957 a duck hunter, wearing a rabbit’s foot around his neck while hunting near 12-Gauge, Texas, was kicked to death by a giant 3-legged jack rabbit.
- On Friday the 13th in 1966 a Detroit sociologist, who had just demonstrated his lack of fear by walking under 13 ladders and throwing a black cat through a mirror, was run over by a limousine driven by blind soul singer.
Please follow these important guidelines today!
- Never trust a rabbit that tries to sell you his foot.
- 4-leaf clovers are lucky today — but not if you smoke them.
- Wearing garlic around your neck today will ward off evil spirits. It will also ward off good spirits, indifferent spirits, and any other spirits with noses.
- A rabbit’s foot is not lucky. If you don’t believe me, ask the rabbit.
- Wearing a lucky penny between your toes means good luck and blisters.
- For good luck, hang a horseshoe over your front door. For really good luck, hang the entire horse over your front door.
by Joe Hickman
I respect the copyright, you know
Now urban legend or not, I just wanted to share these with you. So far, the worst thing that happened to me on Friday 13th was the fact that our hot water is off for 2 weeks, and I had to “shower” from a tub! So yeah!