Friday the 13th is perhaps the most recognizable date in the modern world, with the possible exception of December 25th. Considered by those who are superstitious, to be the unluckiest day of the year. Heck, they even made a franchise of slasher movies based on this date for goodness sake! But, where does the superstition come from? We all know it as an unlucky date, but it must have originated from somewhere.
Well, that’s one of the things we’re going to be exploring, as there are considered to be multiple different theories for this. Both Friday, and the number 13 have had questionable pasts, and both have prior records for being seen as unlucky. But, surely it’s more than simply a combination of the two that has led to such widespread cultural adoption. Here is some of the history of the date that could well help explain where the superstition comes from.
Christianity has a big influence over the world, and Western cultures, and Friday does not have a good history with Christianity in the first place. Don’t forget, Friday was the day Christ died in the Bible. It is also considered to be the day on which Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. So where does the 13 come into it? Well, Judas Iscariot (remember that guy?), was the 13th apostle, and he betrayed Jesus, leading to his crucifixion. These are some of the reasons from Christianity that could have plenty to do with the superstition surrounding the date.
Moving away from religion for a moment, another example of where the date took on negative connotations can be seen when we look at Wall Street. A novel, released in 1907, and entitled Friday, the 13th, is considered to have elevated superstition in the date. It follows the machinations of a stockbroker, and his attempts to cause Wall Street to crash on the infamous date.
The Knights Templar
The Knights Templar are perhaps best-known, in a popular sense, from Dan Brown novels, particularly The Da Vinci Code. According to the novel, the Knights Templar were captured and died on Friday the 13th, 1307. According to the novel, this is the event credited with the cultural belief surrounding this particular date. But, it’s worth noting that plenty of other bad things have happened on the date, so it seems illogical to attribute it solely to this.
There are other legends and myths that have fed into the Friday the 13th superstition, throughout cultures. For instance, in Norse mythology, it is thought that, if 13 people are having dinner together, one person will die. There’s another that links to the Canterbury Tales in the 14th Century, where Chaucer wrote about mishaps occurring on a Friday. This seems to be a good barometer in literature that started the superstition off.
There have been a lot of different reasons given for why Friday the 13th is considered such a bad day culturally. And, while it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where this superstition first arose from, it’s clear that a lot of different events and cultures have fed into this myth. As you can see, there are plenty of different things that could have contributed to it – all we know for sure is that Friday the 13th is still viewed as a highly unlucky date.