Today is Friday the 13th, one of only two times this inauspicious occasion will occur in 2018. Ever since we were kids, we’ve been taught that this day is “unlucky” and we should refrain from making our luck any worse by avoiding certain practices.
But how did Friday the 13th end up being the emissary of all things catastrophic? There is actually some historic significance to the belief and it’s origins go all the way back to the Middle Ages.
According to Independent, “Roots of superstition can be traced back to [the] arrest of [the] Knights Templar in [the] Middle Ages, subsequently burnt at the stake and condemning us all to misfortune for the wrongs done to them.”
Before that, though, there is another widely accepted explanation that has biblical implications. The number “13” is said to refer to Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus Christ to the Roman soldiers. The headcount at the Last Supper was 13, including Judas, and was considered unlucky because of his presence.
Another historical source for the superstition harkens back to Friday the 13th of October, 1307, a date on which “King Philip IV of France [arrested] hundreds of Knights Templar.
“Charged with moral and financial corruption and worshipping false idols - often following confessions obtained under torture - many of the knights were later burnt at the stake in Paris.
“The order's Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, faced the flames in front of Notre Dame Cathedral and is said to have cried out a curse on those who had so gravely wronged them: 'God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death.'
“The events initiated by the holy warriors' arrest, according to tradition, ensured every subsequent Friday the 13th meant bad luck to one and all, De Molay's hex ringing out through the ages.”
So, there you have it. Maybe you believe it, maybe you don't. But it never hurts to be careful . . . just in case!!
The second Friday the 13th this year will occur in July. And in case you happen to take this age-old superstition a little too seriously, there is actually a name for it: An irrational fear of the day is known as paraskevidekatriaphobia.
You’re welcome! :-)
Now for a bit of humor, if you're not the type to take this day too seriously:
In honor of Friday the 13th, check out this video of people facing their irrational fears about this superstitious day.