A Friday occurring on the 13th day of any month is considered to be a day of bad luck in English, German, Polish and Portuguese-speaking cultures around the globe. Similar superstitions exist in some other traditions.The day is treated as most unlucky day throughout the world, unless you were born on Friday the thirteenth in which case it is your lucky day.
Every hour of every day had its genie, or guardian angel, and every day was ruled by one of the pantheon of divine beings who were worshipped under various names in the pagan world, dating back to the days of ancient Babylon and even beyond, in Armenia, which can be shown to be the very birthplace of civilisation. The names of the days still celebrate their ancient guardians, which were identified with the planetary lords and ladies:
Sunday, ruled by the Sun
Sunday, ruled by the Sun
Monday, ruled by the Moon
Tuesday ruled by Mars (Tiw, the ancient teutonic god of battle was parallel to Mars in the Roman Pantheon, giving us mardi in French and cognate names in other latin-derived tongues)
Wednesday (Woden's day, the saxon Mercury, giving mercredi in French)
Thursday (Thor's day, the thunder god, equivalent to Jupiter, jeudi in French)
Friday, Freya's day (the teutonic Venus, in French vendredi).
Saturday, ruled by Saturn
Venus was the holy goddess of love in the Roman World and Freya was the most holy primeval goddess of the north. Christian monks decided that her day, Friday, was unlucky, as indeed it was, for Jesus Christ, who was crucified and died on a Friday. The Christian religion has sought to overthrow the goddess in all her forms, but has simply succeeded in causing her to reinvent herself under other names.
Thirteen is significant to Christians because it is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles). Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive.
Christians have traditionally been wary of Fridays because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Additionally, some theologians hold that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that the Great Flood began on a Friday.Sailors were particularly superstitious in this regard, often refusing to ship out on a Friday.
According to unverified legend (very likely untrue), the British Navy commissioned a ship in the 1800s called H.M.S. Friday, in order to quell the superstition.Some historians suggest the Christian distrust of Fridays is actually linked to the early Catholic Church's overall suppression of pagan religions and women.
In the Roman calendar, Friday was devoted to Venus, the goddess of love.This characterization may also have played a part in the fear of the number 13. It was said that Frigg would often join a coven of witches, normally a group of 12, bringing the total to 13. This idea may have originated with the Christian Church itself; it's impossible to verify the exact origins of most folklore.
A similar Christian legend holds that 13 is unholy because it signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil.
Some trace the infamy of the number 13 back to ancient Norse culture. In Norse mythology, the beloved hero Balder was killed at a banquet by the mischievous god Loki, who crashed the party of twelve, bringing the group to 13.
Another significant piece of the legend is a particularly bad Friday the 13th that occurred in the middle ages. On a Friday the 13th in 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.
Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose. Is Friday the thirteenth really unlucky, or is this belief just a hangover from the time.
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