Happy Friday the 13th!

Do you suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia? First, enjoy this picture gallery (click on any image to start the slide show), then read below about the meaning and history of friggatriskaidekaphobia — and why Good Friday really means good luck!

The term friggatriskaidekaphobia (literally “fear of Friday the 13th”) derives from three words:

  • 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, and
  • Phobia = Greek for, well, phobia

“Put ‘em together and what do you get? Bibbity-bobbity, bibbity-bobbity—” Stop! Cut the 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?

Wrong.

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.  Therefore…

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. Hence the number 13 doesn’t mean the end, it 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!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Happy Friday the 13th!

  1. Delightful! Our favorite (and only) son was born on a Friday the 13th.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. JFYI: Friday the 13th today and Wall Street is on a strong upswing- despite all warnings 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. C.A. Post says:

    You might also note the 13 original colonies became the 13 original United States, and all the 13s that accompanied those events. The 13th Amendment of our Constitution abolished slavery, hardly a bad luck event! Other good events that occurred on a Friday, the 13th include Puerto Ricans offered US birthright citizenship, Bill Gates stepped aside as chairman of Microsoft, the Olsen twins were born (disputable if this is in the “good” or “bad” category), President Johnson signed Title VII, an executive order to end gender discrimination (‘course, that was without telling Congress??), the famous HOLLYWOOD sign was erected, Black Sabbath released their first album… wait a minute. Hmm, maybe the 13th IS an unlucky day! 😰

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Todd R says:

    I happen to have a real black cat on my lap as I read this and I don’t consider it bad luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Acruz says:

    Good read. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You make a very good point, Mitch, that it’s all in how you look at it. Our dear little dog was hit by a car and died on Friday October 13. The most significant thing about the timing to me, however, was that we were about to start the intensive rehearsal schedule for our Halloween outreach, which I directed. an outdoor multimedia production depicting the Resurrection and triumph of Jesus – “Satan’s Worst Nightmare” – presented on (You guessed it) Halloween night. This ministry had seen more and more “spiritual warfare” over the years. (Apparently the enemy doesn’t like to be mocked on “his day.”)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was thoroughly convinced Friday the 13th was a lucky day when I was a kid. My father told me that regularly since I was born on that day. School friends told me otherwise. Dad was right. God bless, Mitch! Great message!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Pingback: Happy Friday the 13th! – Uncoffined

  9. An Audience of One says:

    Well, I’ll be jiggered! Who knew?!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “13 persons—ate the Passover meal together.” I imagine that has slipped by without notice to many. Great perspective, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jane Lurie says:

    Great post! Love to learn a new word.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. rwfrohlich says:

    My 13th birthday fell on a Friday the 13th, yet here I am, 67 years later relatively unharmed. And because Jesus went to the cross willingly on that very Good Friday, I shall remain unharmed on the day of judgement. Thanks for the informative post. Gotta go now, it’s almost time for my birthday pie.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Willow Croft says:

    I indulge in thinking Friday the 13th is my lucky day… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    Yep. Nothing to fear. We make it worse by worrying.

    Thanks, Gary

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Michael Sammut says:

    I was born on Friday the 13th…and November to add a bit of a punch 😁😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Well, we flew cross country yesterday, which was Friday 13th as we are one day ahead. All went really well 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  17. As you undoubtedly know, I am of Sicilian heritage. My parents were born in Sicily and I have many relatives who live there and in Italy. The number 13 is considered lucky in Italy. Associated with the great goddess Feronia, fertility and the lunar cycles, the number is thought to bring prosperity and life — quite the opposite view than that of the western world. Friday the 13th is a fortuitous day for births, weddings and other momentous times in life. So, bring it on and throw in a few black cats for good measure! 🐈‍⬛

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Karen :) says:

    Thank you for the smile – on a gray winter day here!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I love a positive spin whenever possible!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. revruss1220 says:

    Excellent! I mostly greet every Friday the 13th with a yawn and a shoulder shrug, but your enlightened outlook now helps me actually look forward to CELEBRATING it next time around. Thanks, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thotaramani says:

    OMG! 13th of every month 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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