Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is Friday the 13th really unlucky?

Friday the 13th occurs when the thirteen day of the month falls on a Friday. It's an inavoidable day that falls every year at least once and at the most can occur three times in one year. Any month's thirteen day will fall on a Friday when the month begins on a Sunday. If we can anticipate this day to occur at least once a year, why are so many people terrified of it?

The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, a word derived from the Greek words meaning Friday, thirteen, and phobia. Although there is evidence, dating back to before the 19th century, that the number thirteen and the day Friday were both considered unlucky, there was no link to connect them together. Written in a biography about an Italian composer named Gioachino Rossini, shows a possible link between the two superstitions:

"[Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13th of November, he died".

There is evidence as to where this myth comes from. Some will refuse to go to work, others will not eat at restaurants, and some would never dare to set a wedding date for Friday the 13th; this superstition occurs in the minds of each individual.

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