Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Curse of Friday 13

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Curse of Friday 13

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jane Picken

Why is it we view today's date with dread?

Be afraid, be very afraid. It's Friday the 13th - the stuff of horror movies.

But what is it that lies behind the superstition that makes today such bad luck?

Well, the Bible has Judas Iscariot as the 13th person to sit at Christ's table, and Christ is believed to have been crucified on a Friday.

Some also believe Friday was the day when God threw Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden.

However, long before the Bible was written, Friday was considered an important day.

Primitive people set aside Fridays as a special time to worship their Gods and those who worked on this sacred day were told not to expect good luck.

Throughout the course of history, Friday has been associated with bad luck.

In ancient Rome, Fridays were reserved for executions, and in Britain Friday was the hangman's day.

Friday is also known in Scandinavia as Frigga's Day, after an ancient goddess of love and fertility. However, some early Christians called a Frigga a witch and Friday the Witch's Sabbath.

As for the number 13, fear of the figure is so common there is a name for it ( triskaidekaphobia, while friggatriskaidekaphobia means fear of Friday the 13th.

Hindus believe it was unlucky for 13 people to gather in one place.

And this conviction was shared by the ancient Scandinavians. Fear of 13 can be traced back to a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven, when in walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki.

Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow.

The fear associated with the number may come from tarot cards, as the number 13 card is called Death. …

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