14 November 2020 04:31
Today is Friday the 13th, 2020. And in this strangest of years, that can either be seen as something good – we're one day closer to 2021 – or, if you believe the legend, the unluckiest of days. Today is the last Friday the 13th of the year. The first came in March and the next won't take place until Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. Next year has only one Friday 13th.
Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky? There are lots of theories why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky, many of which have Biblical origins. Some say Eve bit the apple from the Tree of Knowledge on a Friday the 13th, resulting in she and Adam getting booted out of the Garden of Eden. Others say the Great Flood of Noah's time began on a Friday the 13th. There is also the fact that there were 13 people present at the Last Supper the day before Christ's crucifixion. One of the most popular - albeit likely false - theories has to do with the medieval society the Knights Templar. The Knight Templar According to legend, the Knights Templar, a powerful religious order that served as early bankers for all sorts of powerful people, were arrested on Friday, Oct. 13, 1307. The arrests were done on the order of French King Philip IV, who wanted to get his hand on the Knights Templar's cash (and avoid paying then back money he'd borrowed from them) Phillip accused the Templars of heresy and had some of the order were arrested and reportedly tortured. The date of those arrests - which were made dramatically more sinister as the years progressed - led to the link between evil and Friday the 13th. According to Templar legend, Grand Master Jacques de Molay was executed on Friday the 13th. De Molay cursed both the king and Pope Clement V at the time of his death and over time - after the curses apparently came to fruition after the king and the pope died - the day's unlucky reputation grew. Fear of 13th Someone who is afraid of Friday the 13th suffers from Friggatriskaidekaphobia. An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from the disorder. The word comes from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named, and triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13. Skipping 13 It's common practice for hotels to skip from the 12th to 14th floor and avoid the number 13. Some hospitals also skip 13, omitting the floor and opting not to use it as a room number. Cities have also been known to skip a 13th Street or Avenue. FDR fear of 13 President Franklin D. Roosevelt apparently had a great fear of Friday 13th. He avoided starting a trip on a Friday and tried to avoid having 13 people at the dinner table. More accidents? A 1993 study in the British Medical Journal found there were a higher number of traffic-related incidences on Friday the 13th as compared to a random day. More myths There are a number of popular myths and superstitions surrounding the day: