As you know, today is Friday the 13th. It's an arbitrary distinction, except that we humans have assigned a lot of importance to it. In fact, the Stress Management Center/Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, says that 17 million to 21 million Americans have a fear of Friday falling on the 13th so severe that it can be considered a phobia (if you are afflicted, call yourself a paraskevidekatriaphobe). But where did it start? Why is this date so associated with doom and gloom?
It has to do with a combination of reputations — of Friday itself and of the number 13. The view of 13 being an unlucky number is surprisingly widespread, around the world. Thanks to Judas, the last to arrive at the Last Supper, having 13 guests at a dinner table is considered bad luck. To the Norse Vikings, as well, having 13 guests is a no-no. Loki was the 13th guest at a banquet, where he killed the hero Balder. Hindus also consider 13 to be an unwanted numeral. This association with the number doesn'tRead More »from How Did Friday the 13th Get Such a Bad Rap?