Paraskevidekatriaphobia = Triskaidekaphobia Squared

If you truly suffer from Triskaidekaphobia or worse yet Paraskevidekatriaphobia, see ya later. Actually, I’m sure you’ve already clicked off of this page. For the rest of you, that Friday the 13th movie poster reminds me of our expertise in proper blade hardening to prevent breaks and give long life to sharpness. 🙂 Click HERE to see the original Friday the 13th film trailer starring Kevin Bacon as Jack. Click HERE for your Friday the 13th afternoon background music –  Friday the 13th Original Motion Picture Score by Steve Jablonsky.

As I was preparing my post for this week, I flipped my calendar and realized that this Friday is the 13th.  Ever since I was young, I’ve always been told to be cautious on Friday’s when they are on the 13th – (never knew why).  I figured, probably like you, a little trivia and history would help to clear things up.  (Oh, and by the way the fear of the number 13 is the title of this blog post above).  Thanks Wikipedia and all those who keep the superstitions going. Now in full disclosure, I happen to think Friday the 13th brings me good fortune, but that’s just me!
  1. Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, which happens at least once every year but can occur up to three times in the same year.
  2. In 2017, F13 occurred twice, on January 13 and October 13. In 2018, it will also occur today and July 13.  There will be two Friday the 13ths every year until 2020, where 2021 and 2022 will have just one occurrence, in August and May respectively.
  3. The superstition surrounding this day may have arisen in the Middle Ages, “originating from the story of Jesus’ last supper and crucifixion” in which there were 13 individuals present in the Upper Room on the 13th of Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday.  While there is evidence of both Friday and the number 13 being considered unlucky, there is no record of the two items being referred to as especially unlucky in conjunction before the 19th century.
  4. An early documented reference in English occurs in Henry Sutherland Edwards’ 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th:  He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday 13th of November he passed away.
  5. It is possible that the publication in 1907 of Thomas W. Lawson’s popular novel Friday, the Thirteenth, contributed to disseminating the superstition. In the novel, an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th.
  6. A suggested origin of the superstition—Friday, 13 October 1307, the date Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar—may not have been formulated until the 20th century.
  7. In Spanish-speaking countries, instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th (martes trece) is considered a day of bad luck.  The Greeks also consider Tuesday (and especially the 13th) an unlucky day.  Tuesday is considered dominated by the influence of Ares, the god of war (Mars in Roman mythology). The fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade occurred on Tuesday, April 13, 1204, and the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans happened on Tuesday, 29 May 1453, events that strengthen the superstition about Tuesday. In addition, in Greek the name of the day is Triti (Τρίτη) meaning the third (day of the week), adding weight to the superstition, since bad luck is said to “come in threes”.
  8.  The 2000 parody film Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth was released in Italy with the title Shriek – Hai impegni per venerdì 17? (“Shriek – Do You Have Something to Do on Friday the 17th?”).
  9. Friday the 13th is an American horror franchise that comprises twelve slasher films, a television show, novels, comic books, video games, and tie‑in merchandise. The franchise mainly focuses on the fictional character Jason Voorhees, who drowned as a boy at Camp Crystal Lake due to the negligence of the camp staff. Decades later, the lake is rumored to be “cursed” and is the setting for a series of mass murders. Jason is featured in all of the films, as either the killer or the motivation for the killings. The original film was written by Victor Miller and was produced and directed by Sean S. Cunningham. The films have grossed over $464 million at the box-office worldwide.
  10. Friday the 13th is considered one of the most successful media franchises in America—not only for the success of the films, but also because of the extensive merchandising and repeated references to the series in popular culture. Although the films were not popular with critics, the franchise’s popularity has generated a fan base who have created their own Friday the 13th films, fashioned replica Jason Voorhees costumes, and tattooed their bodies with Friday the 13th artwork. Jason’s hockey mask has become one of the most recognizable images in horror and popular culture.
  11. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. “It’s been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day”.
  12. In Finland, a consortium of governmental and nongovernmental organizations led by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health promotes the National Accident Day to raise awareness about automotive safety, which always falls on a Friday the 13th.  The event is coordinated by the Finnish Red Cross and has been held since 1995.
  13. (Here’s one for my math/statisticians out there) … Each Gregorian 400-year cycle contains 146,097 days (with 97 leap days) or exactly 20,871 weeks. Therefore, each cycle contains the same pattern of days of the week and thus the same pattern of Fridays that are on the 13th. The 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be a Friday than any other day of the week.  On average, there is a Friday the 13th once every 212.35 days, whereas Thursday the 13th occurs only once every 213.59 days.
And, to get you through the day, here are 13 of the most common superstitions:
1. Black cats – You’re doomed to bad luck if a black cat crosses your path.
2. Mirrors – If you break a mirror, kiss 7 years of luck goodbye.
3. Ladders – They say walking under a ladder is bad luck. I say walking under a ladder is a bad decision. Nothing good can come of it.
4. Salt – If you spill salt, you’re supposed to throw it over your shoulder to avoid getting bad luck.  In my business we know the importance of salt and spilling it is bad!
5. Purses – You should never leave your purse on the floor if you want to avoid bad luck.
6. 6.66 – If a bill total $6.66 or you receive that much change you should either buy something else or leave a penny from your change to avoid bad luck
7. Umbrellas – Opening an umbrella indoors is said to bring bad luck – never on F13 Especially if I am trying to leave the room!
8. Cutting Your Hair – If you cut your hair on Friday the 13th, legend says someone in your family will die.  You can all see why I am a really lucky guy!  No problems here either!
9. Funerals – If a funeral procession passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die.
10. Babies – A child born on Friday the 13th is said to be unlucky for life.
11. Floor 13 – Many hotels and hospitals have eliminated floor 13 in their elevators to eliminate bad luck. But if you’re staying on floor 14, isn’t it really 13?
12. Cemeteries – To avoid bad luck when passing a cemetery, you’re supposed to hold your breath until you see a black or brown dog. What if there isn’t one around? You may have to hold your breath until you’re the next one to move into the cemetery.  My girls loved this game, except when I would stop the car before passing the cemetery.
12. Getting Out of Bed – To avoid bad luck, you’re supposed to get out of the same side of the bed you got into.  This only makes sense.  Jackie would not be happy if I got out on her side, especially, given the time I get up in the morning!
13. Number 13 – Many believe the number 13 is bad luck. Taylor Swift disagrees and says it’s her lucky number. Not only was she born on the 13th, she turned 13 on the 13th, her first album went gold in 13 weeks.
BONUS:  You can always spin around 7 times to break any bad luck, but you’ll have to worry about what you look like to those around you. It may be easier to carry a rabbit’s foot, four leaf clover or a buckeye in your pocket. All are said to bring good luck.

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