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Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is believed to be an unlucky day in many countries, but a lucky one in others.

Friday the 13th in the calendar next to lit candles and a skull
Black cats and Friday the 13th are considered unlucky by many.
©iStockphoto.com/Studio-Annika

What do People do?

For most people who consider Friday 13th unlucky, it is more a question of what they avoid doing, rather than what they do on this day.

The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia - "Frigg" is the Norse goddess whom Friday is named after and "triskaidekaphobia" means the fear of "13". It's also known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, partly from the Greek word for Friday.

Truly Frightning

It is a real fear - some people who have this disorder are even too afraid to say the words “Friday the 13th”. Others avoid flying on a plane, going to work, or even getting out of bed. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, millions of Americans are afraid of Friday the 13th. Symptoms of this fear range from mild anxiety and a nagging sense of doom to full-blown panic attacks.

August the Worst

In Brazil, Friday 13 in August is considered unluckier than any other Friday 13, especially as agosto (August) rhymes with desgosto (sorrow).

Some charities use Friday 13 for fund raising events. At Port Dover in Ontario, Canada, there is a big celebration for motorcyclistscalled PD13, which attracts large crowds.

Other choose to have parties with unlucky or creepy themes similar to Halloween.

Famous Horror Film

“Friday the 13th” is also the name of a commercially successful Hollywood movie series. An image of a hockey mask donned by the film's character Jason is often associated with the film.

In many Spanish speaking countries, Friday 13th is a lucky day. In fact, the Spanish edition of “Friday the 13th” was renamed “Tuesday the 13th” (“Martes 13”), because this is believed to be the unluckiest day of the year. It is also a common belief that Friday 13 is a particularly lucky day for children to be born.

Super Lucky

Some people have won millions of dollars in lotteries on Friday 13. According to CNN.com, one British couple won $17 million after buying their lottery ticket on Friday 13. The same day, their mirror at home fell and broke, which according to superstition leads to seven years of bad luck.

Friday the 13th:

Year Date
2013 September 13
December 13
2014 June 13
2015 February 13
March 13
November 13

Judas - 13th guest at Last Supper

Some say that the concept of Friday and the number 13 being unlucky may be linked to stories from the Bible. For example, Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, has been labelled "the 13th guest" at the Last Supper.

Other biblical events that supposedly occurred on a Friday, include the great flood during the time of Noah, the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel, the day Eve tempted Adam with the apple, and Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified.

On Friday 13, October 1307, a warrant was issued for the Knights Templar to be arrested. Masses of Templars were tortured or executed.

Loke – Norse Party Crasher

The superstition surrounding Friday 13 could also be linked to Norse mythology. According to one legend, 12 gods were at a banquet at Valhalla when Loke, the demi god of mischief who was not invited, turned up, bringing the total number of guests to 13. He was responsible for the chaos that led to the death of one of the good gods – Balder – so all the gods grieved.

Egyptian Afterlife

The ancient Egyptians thought the number 13 was lucky because they believed that the 13th stage of life was related to the afterlife. After the decline of the ancient Egyptian civilization, the number 13 was still associated with death and fear.

Symbols

Some people believe that the number 13 and black cats, which are associated with Friday 13, are symbols of femininity.

Friday the 13th Observances

Holiday currently only shown for years 2000–2049.

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
FriJan 132012Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriApr 132012Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriJul 132012Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriSep 132013Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriDec 132013Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriJun 132014Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriFeb 132015Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriMar 132015Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriNov 132015Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriMay 132016Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriJan 132017Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriOct 132017Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriApr 132018Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriJul 132018Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriSep 132019Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriDec 132019Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriMar 132020Friday the 13thWorldwide observance
FriNov 132020Friday the 13thWorldwide observance

Quick Facts

Friday the 13th is a day full of superstitious beliefs in communities worldwide.

Friday the 13th 2016

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday the 13th 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017
Friday, October 13, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Friday the 13thEnglish
Viernes 13Spanish
יום שישי ה-13Hebrew
الجمعة الثالث عشرArabic
13일의 금요일Korean
Fredag den 13.Norwegian
Freitag der 13.German

List of dates for other years

United Nation Holiday on May 13, 2017

Fun Holiday on May 13, 2017

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