Thursday, August 12, 2010

Doomed Friday the 13th

 Friday the 13th: a regrettable juncture of unlucky number and ominous day.
 The sixth day of the week and the number 13 both have foreboding reputations said to date from ancient times foretells more misfortune than some innocent minds can bear.
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.

When I call Friday the 13th unlucky, don’t for once imagine me to be a Paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobic (fear of Friday the 13th) yes, these set of people also have name tags for themselves!

Exactly how long this superstition has been around is difficult to say, but it still holds the uncontested top position around the globe for being the most favored, I mean feared, fallacy doing the rounds. Nobody really knows who Friday the 13th was tagged as the unluckiest day of all. From what I have read, I was shocked and shamed to find that many people follow this belief just blindly; there is not explanation logical or illogical or any background information for the same.

Individually Friday, being the sixth day of the week is considered unlucky as some of the unfortunate significant events in the Christian tradition are said to have taken place on Friday, primarily such as the Crucification, Eve’s offering the apple to Adam, the beginning of the great flood or the confusion at the Tower of Babel.
The origin of the connection between the number 13 and ill fortune are similarly Christian, the most common stemming from the Last Supper, at which Judas Iscariot was said to have been the 13th guest to sit at the table. Thus, 13 started being referred as an omen of bad fortune in English literature.

In the British times, both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. By British tradition Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.

In present times, lots of hotels and skyscrapers do not support a 13th floor; airplanes have no 13th aisle. Restaurants don’t have table 13. But the joke is on the Paraskevidekatriaphobias, of course, since the 13th floor, table, aisle is sitting right there behind the 12th, obviously -- it's just labeled as 14 to hoodwink you into relaxing. There are offices that don’t work on this day, wish mine was one of them; weddings and ceremonies are avoided and so is long distance traveling, be it by road or air.

Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. But is an excuse for not going to work? I would like to believe it like that. Then I would be disappointed that Friday the 13th comes calling only once or twice a year.

2 movies have been made under Friday the 13th name one in the year1980 and again in 2009. And now this time we have our own desi version, a horror film, Help, starring Bobby Deol and Mugdha Godse. According to the producers this is the 1st horror movie being released on this ill-fates day. I understand very well why he wants to release the movies on this auspicious day, for once he will not have to take the blame himself when the movie booms (which is a given) at the box office, they will all blame the poor Friday the 13th and hence hammer one more nail on this doomed day.

In the case of Friday the 13th, people have been told it will be a bad day, so they selectively remember all the bad events that occur throughout the day. It’s an easy way to rationalize the screw-ups for which we ourselves are ultimately responsible. Do we truly think nothing good has happened on this day? Where do such baseless erroneous beliefs and myth crop up from.

You may not take drastic safety precautions every Friday the 13th, but are you totally immune to the superstition? Given the choice, would you get married, start a new job or close on a house on Friday the 13th? Most people wouldn't, even though they don't put much stock in the idea. Superstition has a way of creeping up on people when they're in a particularly vulnerable state.

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  1. well it doesnt make any difference to me :) I would have done all the stuff u mentioned even if it was Fri the 13th

  2. P.S. I think it will better and encouraging for commenters if u turn off word verification.

  3. Thanks Reema, for your opinion and suggestion.

  4. Hey Pooja! i think u r right, first i thought wud say no, doesnot matter to me, but the last sentence.... hmm got me thinking, surely superstition creeps in and we dont even know.


  5. i agree with reema...born on the 13th of october it definately makes no difference to me if anything important in my life occurs on this date....

    however i have as a child had to face flak from many a jeering cousins who could'nt wait to point out the unfortunateness of my special date....

  6. well its 50 - 50 in my case sometimes i do sometimes i dont .. in our religion sikhism all these are banned etc.. Life is so busy here that it hardly comes to mind if its 13th or 6th friday life goes on ... if something bad happens we blame the day otherwise its fine

    I would mention here that MORE good is done on the day then Bad happens we dont hear much about bad things happening ..
    But noce post and alot of things you have written that i did not know of ... especiall yteh british punishments day and 13 steps to the noose ...

  7. True Bikramjit, we always find something or the other to be blamed when things dont go our way. Like in school we used to think looking at our selves in the mirror was auspicious, or getting off the bed on a particular side. These inconspicuous remarks that we make may not seem to be of a suspicious nature, but it builds up around us unknowingly.


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