Friday, June 13, 2008
Friday the Thirteenth: Unlucky For Some
Today is Friday the 13th, a very unlucky day it is said.
What about 13 is considered by some to be so unlucky? Numerologists consider 12 a "complete" number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus.
In exceeding 12 by 1, some say 13's association with bad luck has to do with being just out of reach of completeness. Vestiges of the fear of 13 is prevalent in today's world. According to some statistics, more than 80 percent of high-rises do not have a 13th floor. My building, for example does not call the 13th floor 13 but it is labeled in the elevator as "R" and referred to as "RG", meaning roof garden, eventhough it is an actual occupied floor and not the roof. Many airports skip the 13th gate. Hospitals and hotels frequently have no room number 13.
Explaining how Friday got to be considered unlucky gets to be a little more hazy proposition, one in which the Christian tradition factors into. Jesus was crucified on a Friday. From different things I've read I discovered that Adam and Eve also supposedly ate the forbidden fruit on a Friday, the Great Flood started on a Friday and the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday. These claims seem far fetched but there you have it. Therefore, to some the following is true:
Friday + 13 = Super Unlucky ; perhaps the perfect storm of potential bad luck.
These are just but a few of the associations with Friday and the number 13 as being bad luck.
But what about any belief that 13 and Friday are good luck? There is plenty of information to support that belief as well, most notably in the Celtic Druid and ancient Egyptian traditions. 13 was a lucky number to the Druids as it had to do with the lunar calendar they followed. Oddly, I have a necklace and a bracelet each of which have 13 moons.
I read quite a lot about this last night and I can tell you this, that for all the reasons given for 13 and Friday being lucky or unlucky, all of it seemed completely twisted from whatever original basis in fact there once was a trillion years ago and far away and none of it made much sense. Anyway, I feel lucky. If you're running in the Gibson 5K downtown tonight, good luck to you!