Friday, January 13, 2006

Paraskavedekatriaphobia

The fear of Friday the 13th!

How's that for starting off the first 13th of 2006! If a month begins on a Sunday, it will have a Friday the 13th. Guess what! The YEAR began on a Sunday! So does that mean this is gonna be a humdinger of a superstitious year?

And right around the corner from our apartment here in Hannover is house #13. What happens to IT, I wonder, on Friday the 13th? Double the trouble?




As far as I'm concerned, how can you possibly be supertitious when your birthday is June 13th! And when the birthdays that were on my Friday the 13th were stupendous! On one Friday-the-13th birthday I remember picking up my report card from school and getting all A's. On my 24th birthday (yes, Friday the 13th), when I lived in the foothills of the Andes in Peru, I walked 1-1/2 hours to go pick up 24 pieces of mail, 3 of which were from my future husband. And both times I felt lucky. Kinda hard to feel superstitious.

Wikipedia says "there is evidence to suggest that Friday the 13th is actually unlucky for some.... some people are especially likely to have accidents or fall ill.... attributed to such people feeling a heightened state of anxiety on that day. The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina estimates that in the United States alone, $800 or $900 million is lost in business each Friday the 13th because some people will not travel or go to work."

Our only other Friday the 13th this year will be in October (aren't we lucky!). But did you know that the 13th is more likely to be a Friday than any other day of the week?

Over any given 400-year cycle the 13th day of the month occurs 4800 times. The distribution of 13th day of the month is as follows:

  • Monday ( 685 or 14.27% ),
  • Tuesday ( 685 or 14.27% ),
  • Wednesday ( 687 or 14.31% ),
  • Thursday ( 684 or 14.25% ),
  • Friday ( 688 or 14.34% ),
  • Saturday ( 684 or 14.25% ),
  • Sunday ( 687 or 14.31% ).

This means the 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to occur on a Friday.

I don't know about you, but today I FEEL LUCKY! And I hope you do too :)

10 comments:

  1. I feel lucky too and I love Friday the 13th! I'm superstitious in some things but this day has never bothered me. I didn't even realize it was one today until my little guy came home from school and told me.

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  2. i think this quote from the wikipedia sums up one of the most basic problems with the human condition: perception creates reality.

    "there is evidence to suggest that Friday the 13th is actually unlucky for some.... some people are especially likely to have accidents or fall ill.... attributed to such people feeling a heightened state of anxiety on that day."

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  3. HA, Christina. Gotta love those "little guys!"

    And Nate, you're exactly right. Like so many things in life, it's all in our heads!

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  4. I'm not really superstitious, and I do think most people just do it because they've heard about it through stories. People follow others.

    I feel lucky because last night was just wonderful. MY friend's husbands birthday is today in fact and since mine was yesterday, I'm still on a high. Plus the weekend is just around the corner, so how can it be bad???

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  5. So glad your birthday was wonderful, expat. And have a great weekend!

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  6. I actually allowed myself to have CT scan on Friday the 13th. Not even allowing for some horrible Friday the 13th induced outcome, it took 4 tries to get the IV started. Next time I'm rescheduling. :)

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  7. UGH! The thought of 4 tries, Jeff, makes me faint! Yes, reschedule the next time, tho' I 'spect it had nothing to do with Friday the 13th?!

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  8. I'm a little bit late for saying I'm not superstitious about Friday the 13th, but I do it now because I just wanted to tell you I finally succeed with doing a link on my blog to yours. And I write that here because you did your link to my blog on last Friday and that Calvin of Central Living gently put a remodeled photo of mine with a link on his blog on the same day. So it was a very lucky day for me, and the weather was like spring here, and I past that day on a little cloud, thanks to you and to Calvin. Now, you two have a link on my blog... finally, it was not so difficult.

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  9. Alas, I am way behind the times and Friday the 13th is long past but nevertheless I like this post. How very interesting about our perceptions and even the fact about there being more 13's on Fridays than any other days.

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  10. No, PG! I don't think 3 days late is "behind the times." In fact, it sounds like you never even once had to think about it, which some would say was lucky :)

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