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Beliefs around the origins of Friday the 13th vary, depending who you consult.

Essentially it's a combination of two different threads of superstition coming together. Firstly that Fridays are unlucky and secondly that the number 13 is unlucky. When these two elements come together they are thought to create a very unlucky day.

Chaucer alluded to Friday as a day on which bad things happen in the Canterbury Tales as far back as the late 14th century ("And on a Friday fell all this mischance"), and there are numerous references in literature to Friday being unlucky.

"It was accounted unlucky for a child to be born on a Friday, unless it happened to be Good Friday, when the event was counterbalanced by the sanctity of the day." (1870)

As for the number 13, the most common supposition is the superstition is based on the Last Supper in Christianity, where there were 13 dining. Since many of the references to 13 as unlucky seem to be around meals and groups, such as if there are 13 people seated together for a meal it foretells that one will die.

There are many popular urban myths and legends as to where the exact origins of Friday the 13th are, and with modern interest in the Knights Templar, they have been featured in some recent theories as to the origins of the Friday the 13th date.

The Knights Templar were a religious and military order founded in Jerusalem 1118 C.E.. Their oath was to protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades. They gained much fame, power, wealth, and notoriety over the next two centuries while they were a powerful force. Due to their increased power and wealth, King Philip felt threatened, arranging a mass arrest of all the Templar Knights. Once in custody they were charged with blasphemous acts such as spitting on the cross, worshiping Baphomet, and engaging in acts sodomy and other sexual deviancy. Legend has it that the Knights along with their Grand master, Jacques De Molay, were tortured by all the most brutal means available during the inquisition, and eventually put to death. These fateful events took place on Friday, October 13, 1307.

It is not certain, at all, whether or not the story of the demise of the Knights is the true origin of the Friday the 13th superstition in the Western World. What is certain is that for many people this day holds mystical meaning and they believe it is wise to take care.

It seems more likely to me, that perhaps the number 13 was already thought to be a number with mystical meaning and significance, as well as Fridays, and that the execution and other events, have been chosen to be enacted on these days as part of ritual observance.

Is there any seeming accuracy to these superstitions and the superstition of Friday the 13th itself, as the day being actually 'unlucky' in terms of statistically more tragedies occuring?

Not that I could find. However, people's personal experiences with what is unlucky, or lucky, can vary substantially, and should not be discounted.

From personal experience, 13 has been a lucky number for me. Friday's have generally been good days... and I've no memory of an unlucky Friday 13th.

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Comment by DarEpsilon on May 12, 2011 at 12:48pm
Odd numbers were cherished by the ancient Druid community, such as in craps 7 or 11 is very lucky eh. This superstition that odd numbers are evil was introduced by "you know who" in a successful attempt to demonize an ancient and peaceful religion, a religion that did not discriminate against others of different beliefs.
Comment by DarEpsilon on May 12, 2011 at 12:49pm
Just lookin at the pic, now does that look unlucky to you?
Comment by Lady Nightshade (aka SusanK) on May 12, 2011 at 2:10pm

Friday the 13th? Just another Friday to me..I have never found it lucky or unlucky. Altho I prefer to think of the number 13 as a lucky one~! I also don't worry about black cats..since I have one and she crosses my path every day~! Walk under ladders...have done that many times while restoring the house with my husband. Break a mirror...I just buy another....I am not superstious about much of anything..however I do believe that Blackbirds doing odd things are omens of a pending disaster. Through experience.  So happy Lucky Friday 13th to all~! Friday 13th Pictures, Images and Photos 

Comment by Leila Raven on May 12, 2011 at 2:11pm
Yeah... look at the picture... nothing unlucky about cupcakes and pussies... which picture are we talking about again? ;)
Comment by Lady Nightshade (aka SusanK) on May 12, 2011 at 2:13pm
I also have heard that many hotels do not have a 13th floor or a number 13 room..because of people not wanting to stay there~!
Comment by Leila Raven on May 12, 2011 at 2:50pm
Great graphic Lady Nightshade. :) Love it!
Comment by Anita Ingle on May 12, 2011 at 3:16pm
I love the black cat!! Frankly I think Friday 13th has a bad name. I have never had anything bad happen on any of those. Honestly, this Friday 13th is gonna be pretty lucky for me. I am looking forward to it.
Comment by Bleumajikatt on May 12, 2011 at 3:51pm
Always knew there was stigma over Friday 13th ~ did not know it was so tied into history! Thanks for the enlightenment there! I agree with all here! I believe it to be a normal day and magick can happen on any day and turn it into a lucky day! Wishing everyone a great Friday 13th!
Comment by Dragonfly on May 12, 2011 at 8:30pm

This is fun, Leila.  I'm not superstitious about the 13th or black cats or anything like that.  I'm superstitious about turning around when I'm headed someplace.  lol

Thanks for the cute graphics.

Comment by Leila Raven on May 12, 2011 at 8:46pm

Thanks Anita, Bleumajikatt and dragonfly for commenting.

Anita, I love black cats also and have two! The only time it's unlucky when they cross my path is if I'm not looking and I trip over one, but our orange cat is the most likely character for that. lol.

Dragonly, I find these kinds of things fun too, which is why I had to share it. Any excuse to celebrate, or connect with friends, or send someone a card, or do anything 'fun' is fun for me. lol.


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