Do You Suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia?
Say what? Friggatriskaidekaphobia, “Fear of Friday the 13th,” comes from:
Frigga = Friday – from the Old English “Frige’s Day,” named for the Norse goddess Frigg, Thor’s mother (kind of—Odin has some ‘splaining to do)
Triskaideka, Greek for thirteen
Phobia, Greek for, um, phobia
“Put ‘em together and what do you get? Bibbity-bobbity, bibbity-bobbity—” Cut the cute Disney music! Fear of Friday the 13th is a real thing. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, as many as 21 million Americans are stricken with panic, refusing to leave their homes and draining the U.S. economy of nearly a billion dollars–every Friday the 13th!
And fear of the number 13 isn’t just for American fraidy cats, it’s a worldwide phenomenon. The number is universally viewed as “bad luck” because it goes beyond 12, the number of completion (12 months in a year, 12+12 hours in a day, 12 inches in a foot, 12 tribes of Israel, etc.). As a result, over 80% of high rises worldwide have no 13th floor (of course they do, but it’s not called that), hospitals and hotels have no Room 13, and houses in Italy are located at number 12 ½ Such-and-sucha Street.
Friggatriskaidekaphobes often point a shaky finger at the Apollo 13 mission, interrupted by a near-fatal on-board explosion on April (you guessed it) the 13th. But wait–the Apollo 13 disaster ended in an “impossible rescue,” a new beginning.
And so did the event that is most often referenced as the source of Fear of Friday the 13th: the Last Supper. On what many believe was the 13th day of the month of Nisan, Jesus and the Apostles—13 persons—ate the Passover meal together, celebrating God’s rescue of the Hebrew people, their new beginning, and like the Apollo 13 astronauts, had their evening interrupted by disaster: Jesus was betrayed, arrested, and crucified. A pretty bad Friday, right?
It’s universally known as Good Friday because it occasioned the definitive impossible rescue. On that day, because he “so loved the world,” God offered the human race a second chance, a new beginning. So…
To all of you friggatriskaidekaphobes, I humbly offer this re-think : Friday the 13th isn’t the ultimate “bad luck” day, it’s the ultimate good luck day. It’s the day love reached its apex. And the number 13 means: a new month, a new year, a new foot, a new chance at life. So happy second chance, happy new beginning…
Happy Friday the 13th!