Today is Friday the 13th, which as you probably know means that there will be lots of disasters around the world. Or you’ll stub your toe. Or both!
But don’t worry too much, because today is the only Friday the 13th in 2011. Although you might want to avoid 2012, when there will be three of the devils.
For all you friggatriskaidekaphobes (yes, friggatriskaidekaphobia is the official name for a fear of Friday the 13th, or paraskevidekatriaphobia), it’s worth noting that the Friday the 13th fear is a fairly modern convention that seems to have emerged during the 19th century.
The first mention of Friday the 13th being unlucky was in an 1869 biography of Rossini. It’s likely that this was a conflation of two separate fears, relating to Fridays and the number 13. Friday has been considered unlucky for nearly 600 years at least. In fact, some researchers claim that in ancient Scandinavia, Friday was considered to the the Witches’ Sabbath.
Meanwhile, 13 is generally considered unlucky because it follows 12, which is often seen as a sign of completion (e.g. 12 apostles, 12 zodiac signs).
There is no evidence that Friday the 13th is actually bad luck, though. And some people believe that it’s slightly safer than other days, due to people being a little more careful.