Friday the 13th: 9 things you did not know about infamous date

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Apr 13, 2018, 11:21 am IST
Updated Apr 13, 2018, 11:21 am IST
According to history, Italian composer Gioachino Rossini first made mention of the ill-fated date.
It's possible that Thomas W. Lawson's novel Friday the Thirteenth also contributed to the date's infamy. (Photo: Pixabay)
 It's possible that Thomas W. Lawson's novel Friday the Thirteenth also contributed to the date's infamy. (Photo: Pixabay)

The fear of Friday the 13th — officially called paraskevidekatriaphobia — can be so powerful that some people won't travel or make big purchases on that date.

According to history, Italian composer Gioachino Rossini first made mention of the ill-fated date, says an 1869 biography.

 

It says he believed that both Fridays and the number 13 were unlucky. He died on Friday the 13th. 

It's possible that Thomas W. Lawson's novel Friday the Thirteenth also contributed to the date's infamy. First published in 1907, but still being printed today, the story follows a Wall Street broker who tries to crash the stock markets on, you guessed it, Friday the 13th.

And finally, the day has been made all the more infamous with the Friday the 13th slasher franchise about a psychotic, mask-wearing, machete-wielding Jason Voorhees, an undead killer who goes on a murderous rampage in every single film.

Origin of Friday the 13th: There are a number of theories about the origins of Friday the 13th and its association with all things unlucky. One theory is that the superstition stems from early Christianity because thirteen is the number of people present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles), which took place on Maundy Thursday.

Bible says that at the Last Supper, Judas was the 13th apostle who later betrayed Jesus.

Not unlucky across all cultures: Not all cultures believe Friday the 13th is unlucky. In Spanish and Greek cultures, Tuesday the 13th is considered far more ominous. In Italian culture, Friday the 17th is considered to be more unlucky.

Importance of Sunday: For a month to have a Friday the 13th, it must begin with a Sunday.

It can come in three: Friday the 13th will happen at least once a year but can occur as many as three times a year. In 2018, it will occur twice on April 13 and July 13.

Fear is real: Prolific horror writer Stephen King too has an irrational fear of the number 13. Termed ‘triskaidekaphobia.” People also fear Friday the 13th, which is known as “paraskevidekatriaphobia” or “friggatriskaidekaphobia,” depending on who you talk to.

Literature: One of the first Friday the 13th stories was written by Thomas Lewson in 1907. The story, titled Friday, the thirteenth, was about a Wall Street broker who chose the day to enact his rage and destroy the stock market. Subsequently the day has been used across genres in literature over years.

Celebrities born on 13th: A number of celebrities were born on Friday the 13th including Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Steve Buscemi, and Peter Tork. Tupac Shakur died on Friday, September 13, 1996, after a hail of bullets hit his car in Las Vegas.

Friday the 13th in space: According to NASA, on Friday, April 13, 2029, a large asteroid called Asteroid 2004 MN4, will fly close enough to Earth to be visible without a telescope, but it will not hit.

Friday the 13th in films: The extremely successful Friday the 13th franchise includes 12 horror films, a TV series, six films adapted into novels, comic books, and more. The mask worn by the main character in the films, Jason Voorhees, is one of the most recognizable images in pop culture.





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