left biblioblography: THE OBLIGATORY SUPERSTITION POST - JUST ANOTHER DAY

Friday, October 13, 2006

THE OBLIGATORY SUPERSTITION POST - JUST ANOTHER DAY

Today is Friday the 13th.

Yeah, big whoop-dee-doo. It’s just another day. Sadly, far too many people invest a great deal of ‘belief’ in this superstition.

Here’s the answers.com entry:

“A Friday occurring on the 13th day of any month is considered to be a day of bad luck in English-speaking cultures around the globe. Similar superstitions exist in some other traditions. In Greece and Spain, for example, Tuesday the 13th takes the same role. The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia, a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a phobia (fear) of the number thirteen.

Origins

The origin of the Friday the 13th superstition has been linked to the belief that there were 13 people at The Last Supper of Jesus, who was crucified on Good Friday, but no evidence has been found that Friday 13th was considered especially unlucky until the 19th century. The number 13, however, has a long history of association with ill-luck. It has been linked to the fact that a lunisolar calendar must have 13 months in some years, while the solar Gregorian calendar and lunar Islamic calendar always have 12 months in a year.

Another suggestion is that the belief originated in a Norse myth about twelve gods having a feast in the hall of the sea-god Aegir. The mischievous Loki gate-crashed the party as an uninvited 13th guest and arranged for Hod, the blind god of darkness, to throw a branch of mistletoe at Balder, the god of joy and gladness. Balder was killed instantly and the Earth was plunged into darkness and mourning as a result. This, however, is untenable. The original Old Norse text, the poem Lokasenna in the Edda, mentions 17 gods by name at the feast. Loki is indeed a gatecrasher, but he is not the thirteenth person present. Nor is there any link between this episode and the killing of Balder.

The first explanation, however, seems more relevant to the superstition linked to having 13 people at the same table during a meal. This, recorded at the end of the eighteenth century, is the earliest known instance of the ill-luck of 13 in Britain. The belief was that the first person to rise from the table would be the first to die.

There is also another theory that Friday the 13th of October 1307 was the day that Philip IV of France arrested and subsequenty tortured and killed hundreds of the French Knights Templar to get their money for the French treasury. This theory is used in the factcomic Uncle Scrooge and The Crown Of The Crusader Kings[1] by Don Rosa. Mr. Rosa does here even proof that it wasn't friday the 13th they were arrested. One other note which predates all of the aforementioned is that the first Passover seems to have occurred on Friday the 13th. The death of the firstborns of Egypt occurred on a Shabbat on the 14th of Nisan in the evening. But the Jewish calendar counts days from sunset to sunset so this would have been Friday the 13th in terms of the gentile reckoning of the days. (Exodus 12:6) Feminists have argued that because of the lunar year and Friday being named after a goddess in most European pagan calendars, the fear of Friday the 13th is a patriarchal invention, associating femininity with bad luck.”

Back when I studied Witchcraft, the explanation was that there were usually thirteen people in a coven, with one portraying Cernunnos, who would dance at the back (or front) of the ‘Conga’ line. (‘Devil take the hindmost’, I believe the term was, or was that the kissing of the ‘infernal’ ass? I forget; as I never participated in any such thing, thank Ramen). This info was extracted via torture (the Inquisition), and thus is somewhat suspect.

So, anybody got any Friday the 13th stories? ‘Cause I’ve got diddly. Nothing’s ever gone awry on this ‘momentous’ date anytime in my life.

Got anecdote? C’mon, share. I’m fairly sure no one I know has one, but I’ve been wrong before (not very often, hehehehe). Kinda doubt I am on this one either. Did anyone take precautions? Twig on a black cat crossing their paths?

Till the next post, then.

ADDENDUM: The answers.com entry has been amended to exclude the following sentence: "Mr. Rosa does here even proof that it wasn't friday the 13th they were arrested."
I also note that not only does the entry's author's grammar is fairly poor, the author also misspelled 'Baldur'.

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16 comments:

Don Rosa said...

"Mr. Rosa does here even proof that it wasn't friday the 13th they were arrested"
No, I did NOT say that. As far as they knew at the time, it WAS Friday the 13th. It was centuries later that the calendar was readjusted. They could never know that would ever happen. The unlucky myth of "Friday the 13th" DID originate with the Templar's arrest.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Mr. Rosa:
No, I did NOT say that. As far as they knew at the time, it WAS Friday the 13th. It was centuries later that the calendar was readjusted. They could never know that would ever happen. The unlucky myth of "Friday the 13th" DID originate with the Templar's arrest.
Whoa, hold on there, I was just quoting the article.
That was my understanding for a long time, & I'm very open to correction on this matter, as I think it's just a day anyhow. I'm not married to any of this.
I'm also rather surprised that someone of your caliber responded so quickly, as I don't have that large a readership. Nor am I a big fan of Disney.

remy said...

Today is a sad day. Even though I know that the calendar is an invention it seems obvious to me that the 2 dollars I lost in the vending machine was the direct result of Friday the 13th. Well that is, unless it was the result of my cat crossing in front of me this morning; he's black don't cha know. Na, musta bin the day 'cause the cat crosses my path every day. HEY! Maybe that's why I'm so unlucky. W a i t e a m i n u t e ?
I broke a mirror a few years ago!

parethetically:
(since he's black I have it on good authority that he's not as smart as me);)

Krystalline Apostate said...

remy:
Even though I know that the calendar is an invention it seems obvious to me that the 2 dollars I lost in the vending machine was the direct result of Friday the 13th.
Depends: how often do you lose 2 bucks in a machine? ;)

Don Rosa said...

'I'm also rather surprised that someone of your caliber responded so quickly, as I don't have that large a readership.'

I simply have an auto-Google that tells me whenever my name appears in a blog.

'Nor am I a big fan of Disney'

So? Neither am I. (I'm a fan of Carl Barks.)

Anonymous said...

in greece tuesday the 13th is considered as unlucky because of the fall of constantinople which began tuesday, april 13 1204 and ended on tuesday, april 29 -- but, along with fast food and hollywood movies, superstition from abroad has also seeped into the culture and many regard friday unlucky as well.

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

And Blegh-de-blahggh-deblluuhh...
Basically, Uncy,
I'm just posting to say that I am STILL not dead.
Not entirely at least.
Though I am so into debt and poverty that it's like a fetish I can't shake outta my already abused brain.

karen said...

I've had black cats most of my life. There never seemed to be any bad luck associated with them. {Remy, it's true, they did seem less intelligent than me by far.;) }

I bought my first Battery Operated Boyfriend yesterday on Friday the 13th. So let's cross our fingers and hope there's no bad luck in that ! :0

Stardust1954 said...

Actually, when I was a kid and teenager, I actually believed that Friday the 13th was my lucky day. I think I must have done that to counter all the weirdos who believed it was an unlucky day, including my grandmother who was a very superstitious lady.

We always thought my grandmother's birthday was October 19. My mother even believed that until my grandmother passed away and my mom got the death certificate and it said OCTOBER 13TH! Don't know if it was my great-grandmother who changed the date, or my grandmother herself. My grandmother, who was a Lutheran was extremely superstitious. She would walk into a busy city street full of traffic before walking under a ladder that was propped across a sidewalk path and I remember her grabbing me when I started to be funny one time and walk under one. She tossed salt over her left shoulder if she spilled any, and wouldn't step on cracks in the sidewalk and all of that. Even as a kid I saw how ridiculous that was. Maybe that is why I made Friday the 13th into my "good" day?

Krystalline Apostate said...

Mr. Don Rosa:
I simply have an auto-Google that tells me whenever my name appears in a blog.
Really? Kinda cool.
So? Neither am I. (I'm a fan of Carl Barks.)
So I gathered.
I was thinking that perhaps you could contact Wikipedia/answers.com, & have them correct that obvious blunder in their entry?

toomany:
in greece tuesday the 13th is considered as unlucky
Really? I did not know that.
but, along with fast food and hollywood movies, superstition from abroad has also seeped into the culture and many regard friday unlucky as well.
Yeah, my country has way too many fingers in other peoples' pies.
Sorry about that.

Krystalline Apostate said...

HMDK:
And Blegh-de-blahggh-deblluuhh...
I take it you don't approve of something-or-other?
Basically, Uncy,
I'm just posting to say that I am STILL not dead.

I am very pleased to hear that. Sorry I haven't been in touch more often. I tend to do that w/everyone (my ex-GF used to get really upset if I didn't call her every single day).
Not entirely at least.
Don't be in a hurry: it'll come soon enough.
Though I am so into debt and poverty that it's like a fetish I can't shake outta my already abused brain.
Sorry to hear that. I'd offer advice, but I'm really in no condition to spout off in general.

karen:
I bought my first Battery Operated Boyfriend yesterday on Friday the 13th.
Will the webcam be available soon? ;)

Krystalline Apostate said...

Stardust:
Actually, when I was a kid and teenager, I actually believed that Friday the 13th was my lucky day. I think I must have done that to counter all the weirdos who believed it was an unlucky day, including my grandmother who was a very superstitious lady.
How utterly contrary. I love it!

say no to christ said...

I tend to lean more towards the feminist theory, cuz it holds more weight, but thats just the feminist in me. :)

As for what I like to do on Friday the 13th......
I like to get together with the local witches, run around naked and worship Satan.

Good times, good times.

Karen

Be careful with BOB, he can wear out like any other man, it just takes a little long and it never goes limp. ;)

karen said...

KA
No webcam; BOB is shy.

SNTC
Yeah, but when he wears out, ya either get new batteries or toss 'ole BOB and buy a new guy. ;)

HMDK
Glad to see you posting.
Do it some more, darlin'.

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
As for what I like to do on Friday the 13th......
I like to get together with the local witches, run around naked and worship Satan.

& you didn't invite me? For shame....;)
Be careful with BOB, he can wear out like any other man, it just takes a little long and it never goes limp. ;)
You can't see it, but I'm blushin' just a wee bit.

karen:
No webcam; BOB is shy.
Not the almighty BOB?!?!?!
A few exhibitionist forays, he'll get right over it. ;)

Alicia Bennett said...

Can't wait to see what comes out of the woodwork when you take on Halloween!

Good luck,

Alice