Friday the 13th, also known as Friday 13, has been considered as a day of bad luck in a lot of places for many years. However, contrary to popular belief that Friday 13 is an unlucky day, it’s actually regarded as a lucky day by some people and in some cultures.
Many parties, some with themes similar to Halloween, are celebrated on Friday 13. Some charities use Friday 13 to hold fund raising events. The motorcyclists at Port Dover in Ontario, Canada, use Friday 13 to make a big celebration, called PD13, that attracts large crowds. Friday 13 in August is considered unluckier than any other Friday 13 in Brazil, especially in August, that is a unlucky month. In many Spanish speaking countries, the movie “Friday the 13th” was renamed to Tuesday the 13th (“Martes 13”), because Tuesday 13 is believed to be a day of bad luck, not Friday. Many people also believe Friday 13 is a lucky day for children to be born.
Some say that the concepts of Friday and the number 13 as being an unlucky are linked to the Bible. For example, Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, has been labelled as “the 13th guest”. Events that supposedly occurred on a Friday include the great flood during the time of Noah, the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel, the day Eve tempted Adam with the apple, and the day Jesus Christ died.
The superstition surrounding Friday 13 could also be linked to Norse mythology. According to legend, 12 gods were at a banquet at Valhalla when Loke, the demi god of mischief who was not invited, turned up, bringing the total number of guests to 13. He was responsible for the chaos that led to the death of one of the good gods, Balder, so all the gods grieved.
The ancient Egyptians thought the number 13 was lucky because they believed that the 13th stage of life was related to the afterlife. After the decline of the ancient Egyptian civilization the number 13 was still associated with death, but with fear.
Some people believe that the number 13 and black cats, which are associated with Friday 13, are symbols of femininity. The day has been commercialized by Hollywood movies such as American cult horror film “Friday the 13th” and its sequels.