Today is Friday the 13th (May 13, 2022)! Cue the suspenseful scary music!

But, why is Friday the 13th considered scary or bad or unlucky?

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Sure, there are the movies from the 80s about Jason Voorhies, but Friday the 13th was considered scary even before that, right?

Just like with a lot of superstitions or lore, there is no definite reason, but a few things probably contribute to Friday the 13th being unlucky.

Going all the way back to Norse mythology, Loki, the god of mischief, invited himself to a banquet in Valhalla. Loki made himself the 13th guest. While at the dinner, Loki, misleads the blind god, Hodr, who then shot and killed his brother, Balder, the god of light and goodness, with an arrow.

This story was told and spread and transitioned over the years leading up to the Christian era, which brings us to The Last Supper.

The Last Supper took place on Maundy Thursday and originally had 12 guests. Guess who the 13th was? Judas Iscariot!

Jesus was then crucified on a Friday, which became Good Friday.

 

But, the tradition of unlucky Fridays does not stop there for Christians. Not even close.

  • Adam and Eve scarfed down that forbidden fruit on a Friday.
  • Cain murdered Abel on a Friday.
  • The Temple of Solomon fell on a Friday.
  • Noah's Ark took off in the Great Flood on, you guessed it, a Friday!

Friday and the number 13 being unlucky together was cemented in pop culture probably around 1907 with the publication of Thomas W. Lawson's novel Friday, the Thirteenth. The novel is about a stockbroker who takes advantage of superstitious people to make bank in the stock market.

Then of course came the 1980's Friday the 13th slasher/horror movies.

Other notable bad things that have happened on Friday the 13th include:

  • Germans bombed Buckingham Palace in September of 1940.
  •  A Chilean Air Force plane disappeared in the Andes in October of 1972
  • Tupac Shakur was killed in September of 1996
  • The Costa Concordia cruise ship crashed off the coast of Italy killing 30 people in January of 2012.

On the flip side, however, there was a time in history when the number 13 and Fridays were not unlucky, but actually revered!

A CNN article explains, "Friday was believed to have a unique association with the divine feminine. The first clue can actually be found in the weekday name Friday, which is derived from Old English and means 'day of Frigg.' Both Queen of Asgard and a powerful sky goddess in Norse mythology, Frigg (also known as Frigga) was associated with love, marriage and motherhood...The number 13, meanwhile, has long been regarded as a portentous number by pre-Christian and goddess-worshipping cultures for its link to the number of lunar and menstrual cycles that occur in a calendar year. Fertility was prized in pagan times, and artwork would often draw connections to menstruation, fertility and the phases of the moon."

Then when Christianity started taking over, the idea of multiple goddesses was not gonna fly. Also, worshipping women deities that were about fertility, sex, magic, and love was a big no-no.

So, the story was rewritten by Christians that Frigga was a witch and was banished to a mountaintop where every Friday she gathered with her coven of 13 witches and plotted against mortals and predicted their fates for the coming week.

This is probably where all the anti-witch stuff started.

Basically what I'm gathering is that Friday the 13th became unlucky or bad because of misogyny. A bunch of fragile male egos didn't like people worshipping women.

I think 13 just became my new favorite number.

Sources: History and CNN