Friday the 13th has superstitious connotations in the West. This day comes around at least once a year! But sometimes, it’s not unusual for it to occur two, or even three, times.

As legend has it, Friday the 13th is intrinsically linked to the Gregorian Calendar and is considered to bring bad luck. Driving these fears are many unfortunate events which have marked this cursed day, and the emphasis remains on these stories.

Where do these beliefs come from? And is there really any basis for the superstitions surrounding this day?

Here on our website, to differentiate fact from fiction, we look back on the history of Friday the 13th.

Fear of Friday the 13th is known as triskaidekaphobia.

Friday the 13th

To get to the heart of the matter, here’s some reasons why this day is enshrouded with so much fear:

THE LAST SUPPER: The final meal shared by Jesus.

In Christianity, following the betrayal of Judas, (one of Jesus’ apostles and the 13th guest at Christ’s last supper), Jesus went on to be crucified on a Friday. This reinforces negative perceptions of Friday and the number 13.

LOKI: The Trickster God

In Norse mythology, according to legend, Loki, the Trickster God, invited himself to a meal between Odin and eleven other gods, bringing the total number of people present to thirteen. It was during this meeting that a fight broke out between Loki and Balder, the Son of Odin and the God of love, purity, and joy. During this fight, Balder was killed by Loki with a poisoned arrow.

FRIGGA: Queen of the Gods

Remaining in the realms of Norse mythology, Frigga, Queen of the Gods, was celebrated on Friday. However, with the advent of Christianity, Frigga was accused of witchcraft and subsequently banished. To take revenge, every Friday, she would invite the devil and eleven witches to curse men and cast spells on them. During these meetings, there were always thirteen people.

The impact of Friday the 13th

Popular beliefs surrounding Friday the 13th are also intrinsically linked to unfortunate events that have taken place. Additionally, horror films and the media play an important role in spreading these fears.

The number 13 is often considered an unlucky number in many cultures, which contributes to the fear surrounding Friday the 13th. For example, in buildings in North America, the 13th floor is often replaced by the 14th floor (in other words, we go directly from the 12th to the 14th floor). The same is true on some airplanes where the thirteenth row of seats is simply ignored.

In Western societies, the fear of Friday the 13th has a major psychological effect on the collective mind. Some superstitious people are so preoccupied with this particular day that they sometimes put themselves in quite a serious state of anxiety.

Beliefs and Science

It is important to note that the fear surrounding Friday the 13th is mainly based on superstitions linked to Christ’s last supper. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove that this day brings bad luck or misfortune.

Superstitious Days Around the World

Across the globe, there are many superstitions which relate to particular days. Depending on the cultures and regions where you live, a day can be just another day, or alternatively considered to be lucky or unlucky.

Superstitious days – some examples

  • Friday the 13th: As previously mentioned, this day is often considered an unlucky Friday in the Western world.
  • Tuesday the 13th: In Latin America, Tuesday the 13th is considered to be an unlucky day that brings bad luck.
  • The 4th: In China, the number 4 is associated with misfortune because, in Mandarin, it is pronounced like the word “death”. Thus, on the 4th of each month, the Chinese avoid organizing important events.
  • The 17th: In Italy, seventeen is the unlucky number. It is associated with death. As a result, no Italian will ever plan a ceremony or celebration on this day.

Based on traditional beliefs, myths and local customs, superstitions can be perceived differently depending on each person’s mindset.

Friday the 13th stories

Our website is dedicated to Friday the 13th. For some people, this day of fear is sometimes subject to speculation. Occurring at least once a year, it is almost impossible not to hear talk about it, especially in Western countries.

In order to present comprehensive information about Friday the 13th, as well as other significant days of the same genre, please refer to our press articles which are featured in our blog.