Friggatriskaidekaphobia: Fear of Friday the 13th

friday_13thAn estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of Friday the 13th, making it the most feared day and date in history according to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed.

  • It’s been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day.
  • The fear of Friday the 13th has been called friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named in English and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen), or paraskevidekatriaphobia a concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís (meaning “thirteen”) attached to phobía (meaning “fear”).
  • The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months, either from July to September the following common year (e.g., between 2001–02, 2012–13, and 2018–19), or from August to October the following leap year (e.g., between 1999–2000 or 2027–28).

According to folklorists, there is no written evidence for a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 19th century and several theories have been proposed about the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition. Records of the superstition are rarely found before the 20th century, when it became extremely common. One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day.
In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam, twelve signs of the Zodiac, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table results in the death of one of the diners. Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Friday is also the day when Jesus Christ was crucified, making it through folklore and adding to its unpopularity.

Information from Wikipedia at

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