What is “Friday the 13th?”
Early Friday morning most Kenyans took to social media to recognize it, being the thirteenth day of August falling on Friday
So, what is “Friday the 13th?”
It wasn’t until the 19th century that Friday 13th became synonymous with misfortune: As Steve Roud explains in “The Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland,” the combination of Friday and the number 13 is a Victorian invention.
Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, which happens at least once every year but can occur up to three times in the same year.
In addition to being associated with ill luck, Friday the 13th has been the subject of a late 19th-century secret organization, a novel from the early 20th century, a horror film series, and two ungainly terms: paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia.
For example, 2015 had a Friday the 13th in February, March, and November; 2017 through 2020 had two Friday the 13ths each, and the years 2021 and 2022 will both have just one occurrence each.
The superstition seems to relate to various things, like the story of Jesus’ last supper and crucifixion in which there were 13 individuals present in the Upper Room on the 13th of Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday
The unlucky nature of the number “13” originated with a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party in Valhalla. The trickster god Loki, who was not invited, arrived as the 13th guest and arranged for Höðr to shoot Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Dossey, “Balder died, and the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day.” This major event in Norse mythology caused the number 13 to be considered unlucky.
Though it’s unclear when this particular superstition started, the number 13 has been associated with bad luck for ages.
It remains to be seen if the superstitions still hold. Are you having a day full of misfortune?