Frivolous Facts: Friday the 13th

Last Friday fell on the 13th, and Charlie said, "Didn't we just have a Friday the 13th?" Well, as a matter of fact, we did, just last month. As it turns out, we have one more Friday the 13th in November. Three times in one year? It's a little bit of a rare occurrence and happened last 11 years ago. (Great, as if we needed more bad mojo for 2009.)

I'm not superstitious, but Charlie stubbornly reminded me of that unforgettably eventful Friday the 13th when his uncle's car had a flat tire and his aunt's car broke down on the same day. It wasn't a good day; Charlie and his cousin sat by the side of the freeway, cars whizzing by, as his uncle changed the tire. (Of course I hear about it afterwards and freak out a little.) I'm thinking that it had more to do with the fact that their cars were on their last legs than bad luck.

Why is Friday the 13th considered to be bad luck? A widely-held reason given is the number 13 being associated with Judas, the 13th Apostle, who betrayed Christ. Culturally, superstition surrounding this number has given rise to the custom of high-rise buildings leaving out the 13th floor, going from floor 12 to floor 14. (Have you ever noticed this? Next time you're in a high-rise, look to see if there's a 13th floor.) Oh, and the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia.

Do numbers have inherent power? Numerologists believe so. Me? Nahh, I'm not superstitious at all. Not me. In fact, I have my purse sitting on the floor next to me as I type. (You've never heard? Purse on the floor, money out the door?)

Do you have a habit that's tied to a superstition? Do tell (but first, throw some salt over your shoulder).


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