Friday the 13th is one of my favorite days of the year, whenever it rolls around. Really, I kind of wish it came around more often; but that’s more than probably most superstition would allow for other people to be comfortable with. It’s usually pretty lucky for me; so I have generally a good time with it. I don’t really do much about it, but it’s one of those days that I just kind of look forward to. (well, minus this year–since I’m home sick with the flu or some kind of nasty bug…but even I have to have some bad luck on this day at some point, I suppose) I’ve never been one to be afraid of the number 13 either–which is pretty great for me, so I don’t generally get all that nervous like some others.
Really, the words for fear of #13 (triskaidekaphobia) and fear of Friday the 13th (paraskevidekatriaphobia) are fun words to say. That’s another reason I like the day. It’s got great words associated with it. These words are just kind of fun to say and they roll off the tongue. So that adds to my enjoyment of the day, admittedly because there are great, amusing words associated with it. Then again though, I also admit I can imagine this is not a fun day if you’re really phobic or superstitious about it.
It’s kind of funny though, because everyone loves to talk about the big superstitions. Like – the Knights Templar being arrested by Philip IV in 1307 on a Friday the 13th. That’s one of my favorite stories. Because the Knights Templar are a great historical study point; and the economic and political considerations behind the act are great study, and how people think that it’s the basis of the whole superstition. But really, I don’t think (if I remember my history class correctly) that there were records of this being the root of the superstition…and I think there is not much, if any, record of this connection to the superstition before the 20th Century. So modern, but so indelibly connected that anyone with some kind of historical knowledge is going to cite this as the basis for the whole fear of the day. Which is really just a great show of superstition and modern culture playing into the mindset of all sorts of people.
Superstition is a funny thing, too. I have some friends who are so superstitious that they flat don’t leave their house on Friday the 13th. Or who try to avoid every other ill luck superstition that comes around. So they’re totally nervous about ladders, broken mirrors, salt spilling, black cats, all the like. And then a day like this, well it magnifies all the superstitions. Generally, this type of day makes for all sorts of fun superstition conversations with all my friends. We’ll see how they all handle today; and I’m hoping for more good luck for me today.∗