Friday, February 13, 2009

History Behind The Unlucky Day... Friday the 13Th...

Thought this was an interesting study, considering Friday the 13Th will happen 3 times this year... today, in March, and in November. Just some interesting tidbits on how this actually came about... at least as best we can tell...

History of Friday the 13Th
Source: The Book of Thoth

Friday, the 13Th of October, 1307 - was the date on which the Templar Order was routed in France, its members arrested and later executed. According to many researchers, that is what led to this date conjunction to be considered unlucky (or horrible.)

For nearly two hundred years before that, The Templar Order was the most prominent force in Europe, whose wealth and power easily rivaled and even surpassed that of the Vatican itself. But after having been rounded up in France on that day, the Order basically ceased to exist in its original form.

The "timely" conjunction this year will celebrate no less than the 699Th anniversary of that original fatal date. And "699" is in fact a most significant figure in Templar lore.
What is the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition?

While there are many theories about the origin, there is no written evidence of the term "Friday the 13Th" prior to the 19Th Century. Some theories believe it to be connected to certain superstitions that sitting 13 people at a table will result in the death of one member, or that it is in fact a combination of superstitions about the number 13 and Friday.

The recent Dan Brown novel "The Da Vinci Code" popularized the myth that the superstition is tied to the mass arrest of the Knights Templar ordered by King Philip IV of France, but most scholars believe that theory is a relatively modern day invention.

Another theory notes that references to the superstition are nonexistent prior to 1907, and argues that the Thomas Lawson novel "Friday the 13Th" is what has given rise to the superstition's popularity.

The earliest known reference to the term is from the biography of Italian composer
Gioachino Rossini:

[Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13Th of November, he died. 1

1 Henry Sutherland Edwards, The Life of Rossini, 1869, p. 340.

In the end, it would appear that the superstition is a combination of other superstitions concerning Friday and the number 13, being further compounded by popular culture, myth and folklore. Supporting this is the fact that Friday the 13Th is actually considered lucky in some cultures. So it depends on where you are as to whether or not it's an unlucky superstition or a lucky day.

Fear of Friday the 13Th — one of the most popular myths in science — is called paraskavedekatriaphobia as well as friggatriskaidekaphobia. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13.

The number 13 suffers from its position after 12, according to numerologists who consider the latter to be a complete number — 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas and 12 eggs in a dozen.

Many hospitals have no room 13, while some tall buildings skip the 13Th floor.

The following months have a Friday the 13Th:

Month Years Dominical Letter
January 2006, 2012, 2017, 2023 A, AG
February 2004, 2009, 2015, 2026 D, DC
March 2009, 2015, 2020, 2026 D, ED
April 2001, 2007, 2012, 2018 G, AG
May 2005, 2011, 2016, 2022 B, CB
June 2003, 2008, 2014, 2025 E, FE
July 2001, 2007, 2012, 2018 G, AG
August 2004, 2010, 2021, 2027 C, DC
September 2002, 2013, 2019, 2024 F, GF
October 2006, 2017, 2023, 2028 A, BA
November 2009, 2015, 2020, 2026 D, ED
December 2002, 2013, 2019, 2024 F, GF

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