How do you react when you see that a month has a Friday the 13th? While most people may say that they don't act any differently on this day, the trust is that nearly everyone shows a little trepidation on this day. Full blown paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) is rare, but people often think twice about going out or making important decisions until the date on the calendar is perceived as more friendly.
The history of Friday the 13th
Throughout history, Friday has been considered an unlucky day. It has roots in the 14th century, and even Chaucer's Canterbury Tales demonstrates that unlucky events happen on Friday. Friday was also traditionally considered a bad day to start a voyage in the 17th century. This tradition has stuck around, as most people think that Friday is an unlucky time to start a new undertaking or begin a project.
In addition, 13 has been a historically unlucky number. The fear of the number thirteen is thought to be partially because of the "perfect" nature of the number 12, and that the number following it is unusual and lacking. In some places, tall buildings will even go straight from floor 12 to floor 14 to avoid this auspicious number.
When you combine the unlucky nature of both Friday and the number 13, you end up with a day that makes people nervous and superstitious.
Friday the 13th is also often plagued with decreased business sales, likely because of some people's unwillingness to travel.
Unlucky days in other cultures
It may surprise you to learn that other cultures have different unlucky days. While Friday the 13th is an unlucky day in the US and other "Western" cultures, most Spanish and Greek speaking cultures fear Tuesday the 13th instead.
In Italy, 13 is generally considered a lucky number - their unlucky day is actually Friday the 17th.
Is it actually more dangerous than other days?
The answer to this question isn't straightforward. As we mentioned earlier, Friday the 13th is often a day linked with large losses for businesses. Employees are sometimes unwilling to travel, or start projects on this day. Despite this, though, stocks usually do well.
Even if it's unlucky for businesses, though, Friday the 13th has proved to be a better day than most for driving. Swedish insurance company, Trygg-Hansa performed a study which showed that there are nearly 7% less car accidents on Friday the 13th than on any other day, resulting in fewer auto insurance claims.
So what are you thoughts on Friday the 13th, and superstitions in general? Do you avoid black cats or walking under ladders? Tell us if you're superstitious in the comments, and share this post with your friends if you learned something new! And if you're worried about having an accident on Friday the 13th (or any other day) just call 847-907-4520 for a business, home, or auto insurance review by a Frimark/Keller & Associates insurance professional!