Friday the 13th, where did it all begin???

Happy Friday the 13th to All!!! Being a multicultural agency, it was interesting for us to learn via Wikipedia and About.com many interesting facts about the folklore regarding Friday the 13th.

To begin with, did you know that In Spanish-speaking countries, instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th is considered a day of bad luck. The Greeks also consider Tuesday (and especially the 13th) to be an unlucky day.

However, in Italian popular culture, Friday the 17th (and not the 13th) is considered a day of bad luck. In fact, in Italy, the 13th is generally considered a lucky number. However, due to Anglo-Saxon influence, young people consider Friday the 13th to be unlucky as well.

 

Aside from these beliefs, here are a few particular myths that have evolved and continue still today:

–          If 13 people sit down to dinner together, one will die within the year. The Turks so disliked the number 13 that it was practically expunged from their vocabulary.

–          Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue.

–          Many buildings don’t have a 13th floor.

–          There are 13 witches in a coven.

–          And, if you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil’s luck (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names).

 

Coincidently we at Matlock have a few employees whose names have 13 letter, read below:

  • Brittany Burns
  • Donald Webster
  • Edward Rutland
  • Kirstin Popper
  • Nathalie Simon
  • Paulette Potts
  • Wilton Wallace

 

Clearly we have a devilish group!!!

 

Origins of the Friday, the 13th myth:

Although no one can say for sure when and why human beings first associated the number 13 with misfortune, the superstition is assumed to be quite old, and there exist any number of theories — most of which deserve to be treated with a healthy skepticism, please note — purporting to trace its origins to antiquity and beyond.

  1. It has been proposed, for example, that fears surrounding the number 13 are as ancient as the act of counting. Primitive man had only his 10 fingers and two feet to represent units, this explanation goes, so he could count no higher than 12. What lay beyond that — 13 — was an impenetrable mystery to our prehistoric forebears, hence an object of superstition. Which has an edifying ring to it, but one is left wondering: did primitive man not have toes?
  2. Twelve gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, the Evil One, god of mischief, had been left off the guest list but crashed the party, bringing the total number of attendees to 13. True to character, Loki raised hell by inciting Hod, the blind god of winter, to attack Balder the Good, who was a favorite of the gods. Hod took a spear of mistletoe offered by Loki and obediently hurled it at Balder, killing him instantly. All Valhalla grieved. And although one might take the moral of this story to be “Beware of uninvited guests bearing mistletoe,” the Norse themselves apparently concluded that 13 people at a dinner party is just plain bad luck.
    1. As if to prove the point, the Bible tells us there were exactly 13 present at the Last Supper. One of the dinner guests — er, disciples, didn’t last the night.

From our brief research, this only tips the surface of theories, philosophies and origins as to where the myth of Friday the 13th began. We’d love to hear if you have additional theories or beliefs!

If not, then a Happy Friday the 13th to all, from clearly, a very devilish group here at Matlock!!

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