The Number 13
Superstition and the Number 13
||Friday the 13th is an American horror franchise that comprises twelve slasher films, a television show, novels, comic books, and tie‑in merchandise. The franchise mainly focuses on the fictional character Jason Voorhees, who drowned as a boy at Camp Crystal Lake due to the negligence of the camp staff.
Decades later, the lake is rumored to be "cursed" and is the setting for a series of mass murders. Jason is featured in all of the films, as either the killer or the motivation for the killings. The original film was written by Victor Miller and was produced and directed by Sean S. Cunningham. However, neither returned to write or direct any of the sequels. The films have grossed over $465 million at the box-office worldwide.
|The Number 13
Superstition and the Number 13
|13 is the natural number after 12 and
before 14. It is the smallest number with eight letters in its name
spelled out in English. It is also the first of the teens – the numbers
13 through 19 – the ages of teenagers.
For some, the number 13 is lucky, but to others, it is a number they wish to avoid.
Strikingly similar folkloric aspects of the number 13
have been noted in various cultures around the world: one theory is that
this is due to the cultures employing lunar-solar calendars (there are
approximately 12.41 lunations per solar year, and hence 12 "true months"
plus a smaller, and often portentous, thirteenth month).
This can be witnessed, for example, in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" of Western European tradition.
Friday the 13th occurs when the thirteenth day of a
month falls on a Friday, which superstition holds to be a day of bad
In the Gregorian calendar, this day occurs at least once, but at
most three times a year. Any month's 13th day will fall on a Friday if
the month starts on a Sunday.
The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia.
According to folklorists, there is no written evidence for a "Friday the
13th" superstition before the 19th century. The earliest known
documented reference in English occurs in Henry Sutherland Edwards' 1869
biography of Gioachino Rossini:
Rossini was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; Why Friday the 13th Is Unlucky
Consequently, several theories have been proposed about the origin of
the Friday the 13th superstition.
One theory states that it is a modern
amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky
number and that Friday is an unlucky day.
In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of
completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve
hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel,
twelve Apostles of Jesus, etc., whereas the number thirteen was
considered irregular, transgressing this completeness.
There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive
from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated
at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.
been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century's The
Canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an
unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects.
Black Friday has been associated with stock market
crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. It has also been suggested
that Friday has been considered an unlucky day because, according to
Christian scripture and tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
One author, noting that references are all but nonexistent before 1907
but frequently seen thereafter, has argued that its popularity derives
from the publication that year of Thomas W. Lawson's popular novel
Friday, the Thirteenth, in which an unscrupulous broker takes advantage
of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th.
Records of the superstition are rarely found before the 20th century, when it became extremely common.
The number 13 is associated with bad luck in some countries, and even has a specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia, a word which was coined in 1911.
Why do some people fear the number 13?
It's one more than a dozen, which leaves out an unlucky one if you divide something in groups of two, three, four, or six.
Some buildings do not even list the floor level as a number 13.
Omitting the 13th floor may take a variety of forms; the most common include denoting what would otherwise be considered the thirteenth floor as level 14, giving the thirteenth floor an alternate designation such as "12A" or "M" (the thirteenth letter of the English alphabet), or closing the 13th floor to public occupancy or access.
It's also said that there were 13 people in the Last Supper.
Friday the 13th is considered especially unlucky by many, while in some cultures, in the Spanish-speaking world, for example, it's Tuesday the 13th that is believed to be very unlucky.
Friday the 13th has been
considered an unlucky day since the 1800s, as a combination between an
unlucky day, Friday, and the number 13.
Overall, it is believed that the fear of the number 13 was started because of religion.
Unlucky Number 13
The number 13 is associated with bad luck in some countries, and even has a specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia, a word which was coined in 1911. Friday the 13th has been considered an unlucky day since the 1800s, as a combination between an unlucky day, Friday, and the number 13.
Another theory as to why the date and number 13 is considered unlucky is that, on Friday the 13th of October, 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar.
A second theory links the bad luck associated with the number 13 with Jesus Christ's last supper where the persons around the table, counting the Christ and the twelve apostles, was, indeed, thirteen. This would also be the reason why it is considered unlucky to have 13 guests at a table.
Noting there has never been any Christian writing or work which states the number 13 as being unlucky. In Christianity the gathering of Jesus Christ and the 12 Apostles is considered very positive.
Another theory states that the number 13 is unlucky because, when in years where there were 13 full moons instead of 12, it made it difficult for the monks who were in charge of the calendars. "This was considered a very unfortunate circumstance, especially by the monks who had charge of the calendar of thirteen months for that year, and it upset the regular arrangement of church festivals. For this reason thirteen came to be considered an unlucky number."
Lucky Number 13
Several successful sports figures have worn the number 13. Ozzie Guillén, manager of the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, has worn the number throughout his baseball career.
Alex Rodriguez began wearing it upon joining the New York Yankees (three, the number he had previously worn, is retired by the Bronx Bombers to honor Babe Ruth). Dan Marino, an American football player known for passing the 2nd most yards in NFL history, wore the number 13.
Basketball great Wilt Chamberlain wore the number 13 on his jersey throughout his NBA career.
Also, FIBA rules require a player to wear the number in international competitions (only numbers from 4 to 15 could be worn, and as there are 12 players, one must wear 13); Chris Mullin, who wore #20 in college and #17 in the NBA, wore #13 for both (1984 and 1992) of his Olympic appearances.
Shaquille O'Neal wore #13 in 1996; Tim Duncan wore #13 in 2004. Steve Nash is currently wearing it for the Phoenix Suns. Yao Ming wore it in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Mats Sundin, Pavel Datsyuk, Bill Guerin, and Michael Cammalleri wear 13 in the NHL.
One of Iceland's all time best handball players, Sigurður Sveinsson, wore the number 13 when he played for the national team. In association football, both Gerd Müller and Michael Ballack have favoured the number 13, among others.
In Italy, 13 is also considered to be a lucky number, although in Campania the expression 'tredici' (meaning 13) is said when one considers their luck to have turned for the worse.
Taylor Swift was born on December 13th and its her favorite number. She frequently wears the number written on her hand during concerts.
Colgate University also considers 13 to be a lucky number. They were founded in 1819 by 13 men with 13 dollars, 13 prayers and 13 articles. (To this day, members of the Colgate community consider the number 13 a good omen.) In fact, the campus address is 13 Oak Drive in Hamilton, New York, and the male a cappella group is called the Colgate 13.
In the Mayan Tzolk'in calender, trecenas mark cycles of 13 day periods. The pyramids are also set up in 9 steps divided into 7 days and 6 nights, 13 days total.