Friday the 13th: why it is considered unfortunate

Friday the 13th

At least once a year, calendar dates line up to give us a Friday, 13. Airline prices tend to go down, your superstitious boss avoids important meetings and throughout the day there is a small part of you waiting for something strange to happen .

Why are we like this? Whether you’re superstitious or not, you can’t escape the talk that surrounds the most scary calendar date.

Why 13

The fear of 13 years goes back centuries and many believe that it comes from the Hammurabi Code that would have omitted a 13th law from its written legal codes. However, in reality, it was only a mistake made by one of the translators who simply omitted a line of text.

Such superstitions have persisted even among the greatest minds in history. The great Austro-American composer Arnold Schoenberg had such a serious case of triskaidekaphobia (fear of number 13), that he could not number measure 13 in some of his later works, replacing it with the notation “12a”. He would also have been very afraid of dying a year or 13 years. At 76, a colleague suggested that it would be an unfortunate year because 7 + 6 = 13. In fact, Schoenberg died that year … wait … Friday, July 13, 1951.

It is interesting to observe the contrasting history of the number 12 with the number 13. We have 12 months a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 hours a day and even 12 days of Christmas: the importance derived from the historical influence of the New Testament of the Bible and other Judeo-Christian traditions. Even Schoenberg, the greatest enemy of number 13, was best known for developing a 12-tone musical composition system.

Why Friday?

The negative association with Friday specifically has a combination of religious and cultural backgrounds. Some Christians believe that Friday is unlucky because it is the day of the week that Jesus was crucified. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, eminent personalities and writers began to publicly denounce the day without explaining too much why. George Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” describes Friday as “a day of doom” and playwright Robert Greene defined “Friday’s face” as “a sad look of dismay or anguish.”

Why Friday the 13th?

As expected, we are not exactly sure of the historical evidence of how Friday the 13th became synonymous with bad luck and superstition. There are many theories that date back to previous centuries, but most of them have been completely refuted.

The real hysteria of Friday the 13th began in the 20th century. Many date back to the work of Thomas Lawson “Friday the 13th”, which speaks of a stock broker who today chooses to deliberately collapse the stock market. A year later, in 1908, the New York Times became one of the first means to recognize the superstitions of Friday 13. Later, in the 1980s, the popularity of the film franchise “Friday 13” added to the phenomenon . cultural.

The science behind superstition.

1 in 4 Americans says they are superstitious. While the other 3 out of 4 Americans could laugh at this, there is actually a psychological science to support superstition. Psychologists at Kansas State University say superstitions are trying to control your destiny. People often use superstitions to try to achieve the desired result or to relieve anxiety. A perfect example of this is the artists and athletes who perform specific and sometimes eccentric rituals before a great event.

Mathematician and author Joesph Mazur explains how having superstitions can actually promote a healthy and positive mindset. “Everyone wants luck, but since there is nothing tangible that we can call luck, we have to create this tangible thing by transferring it to an object, and people cling to it as a sense of security.” ”

A study conducted in 2010 by psychologist Stuart Vyse tested a group of people on various memory tasks. The group of people who were allowed to use their amulets with them performed better in memory tests than people who were stripped of their amulets. “This is this” low cost “trust factor,” Vyse concluded.

According to this logic, on Friday the 13th he could have as much luck as bad luck, according to his perspective.

Read More: Barnard student stabbed a few blocks from Manhattan College