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  • Writer's pictureKara M. Zone

13 Fun Facts of Friday the Thirteenth

3. Although Italian culture views the number 13 as unlucky, the popular reference is that Friday the 17th is a day of bad luck. This information comes from the belief of Roman numerals in writing. By shifting the numbers around you can find the word “VIXI,” which means “I have lived,” with the implication of death in the present.

4. Why is 13 so unlucky? If 12 is considered a number of completeness (solar year/zodiac cycle, Chinese zodiac, tons of 12s in the Bible, Greek mythology, Hinduism, and Norse Mythology, art/color wheel, music tones in an octave, etc), then thirteen is “irregular” for disturbing the balance.

5. Fear of the number 13 has a specifically recognized phobia, triskaidekaphobia, a word coined in 1911. Fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia.

9. Some people think that 13 is unlucky due to repression of feminine worship, which followed the lunar calendar/menstrual cycles. “In ancient cultures, the number 13 represented femininity, because it corresponded to the number of lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year (13 x 28 = 364 days). The theory is that, as the solar calendar triumphed over the lunar, the number thirteen became anathema.[12][18]”, and worship was repressed by the patriarchy. Several goddesses have 13 as a number associated with them, usually moon goddesses (like Diana) and fertility goddesses. Friday the 13th is generally a lucky day for goddess worshipers, even to this day.

11. The Thirteen Club, founded by Captain William Fowler (1827-1897), was created to remove the stigma surrounding the number 13. The group dined each month on the 13th, with 13 people, and a 13-course dinner. Members passed beneath a ladder with a banner reading “Morituri te Salutamus,” meaning “Those of us who are about to die salute you.”

12. Is the 13th unlucky? In many ways, NO. “The Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics on 12 June 2008 stated that "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are more careful or just stay home. Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th, at least in the Netherlands; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500."[27][28]

13. Is the 13th unlucky? To some, actually YES. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines on Friday the 13th in doing business, taking flights, or even getting out of bed. "It's been estimated that [US]$800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day".

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