Tag Archives | friday the 13th

Friday the 13th: What’s the history behind the superstition?

Peter Hellberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Peter Hellberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rose Troup Buchanan writes at The Independent:

Today is the first of three Fridays this year that will fall on the 13 day of the month, but where does our superstition surrounding Friday the 13, known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, originate from?

Friday 13 in history and fiction

Folklorist claim there is no written evidence for the superstition before the nineteenth century however; the date has long been connected to notorious events in history and religion.

According to Catholic belief the crucifixion of Jesus Christ took place on a Friday the 13, the day after the Last Supper – involving thirteen participants – on Thursday.

Geoffrey Chaucer made reference to the apparent unluckiness of the day, recording in his Canterbury Tales that it was bad luck to start a journey or a project on a Friday.

One of the most popularised myths attempting to explain the origin of the Friday 13 superstition stems from events on Friday 13 October 1307, when hundreds of Knights Templar were arrested and burnt across France.

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Celebrating Friday The 13th With Chicago’s Anti-Superstition Society

Via Boing Boing, for the no-longer-in-existence Anti-Superstition Society of Chicago, Friday the 13th was naturally the most important day of the year. In 1940, they rang the day in in December with a series of festivities pushing the limits of bad luck charms, including traipsing beneath ladders, perching black cats on shoulders, afternoon naps in coffins, spilling salt and improper hand shakage. There’s no word on how many of the Society’s members were alive a year later:

anti_superstition

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