Friday the 13th – Bad Luck or Good?

by on May 13, 2022 · 1 comment

in History

In European culture, Friday the 13th, conjures up bad luck. And some bad things have happened on the date. I was once kicked in the leg by a pony while ridding another pony as a young teen. But good things have happened also — my mate, Patty Jones, was born on Friday the 13th.

But some people have taken it seriously over the years. For instance, did you know that certain older high-rise buildings in downtown San Diego don’t have a 13th floor?

There’s lots of myths of its origins.

According to some folklore historian, the unlucky nature of the number “13” originated with a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party in Valhalla. The trickster god Loki, who was not invited, arrived as the 13th guest, and arranged for another god to be shot with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. He died, and the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day. This major event in Norse mythology caused the number 13 to be considered unlucky.

The ancient Code of Hammurabi, for example, reportedly omitted a 13th law from its list of legal rules.

According to biblical tradition, 13 guests attended the Last Supper, held on Maundy Thursday, including Jesus and his 12 apostles (one of whom, Judas, betrayed him). The next day, of course, was Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.

The seating arrangement at the Last Supper is believed to have given rise to a longstanding Christian superstition that having 13 guests at a table was a bad omen—specifically, that it was courting death.

On Friday, October 13, 1307, officers of King Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar, a powerful religious and military order formed in the 12th century for the defense of pilgrims in the Holy Land.

Imprisoned on charges of various illegal behaviors (but really because the king wanted access to their financial resources), many Templars were later executed. Some cite the link with the Templars as the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition, but like many legends involving the Templars and their history, the truth remains murky.

So, what’s your experience been with Friday, the 13th?

It’s an open thread in the comments.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Angie May 14, 2022 at 6:29 am

My first daughter wad born on a Friday 13th. I’ve always thought of it as a lucky day.
She did grow into a horror movie fan, so there might be some correlation to the bad luck stuff ;-)


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