The Ominous Friday the 13th

It’s Friday the 13th today, again. This occurrence is observed to have cropped up thrice a year at the most. Am I convinced by the overall pall that is cast over by Friday the 13th? The answer is a simple no. First of all, my favourite day of the week is a Friday. Good things happen to me generally on Fridays. I am usually happy, energetic and positive on Fridays, like I am today. Friday dinners are special, elaborate and meticulously laid out, because my family and I see it as the beginning of a quiet weekend of repose and rejuvenation. On Fridays we watch films together, drink some nice wine and stay up as late as we possibly can! Friday is the best thing that can happen to my nine year old son Noah because he can favourably exercise his reward for a late night without having one of the parent hover at the door, monotonously droning about turning off the computer and getting ready for bed. So you see, Friday is the day that heralds the end of our hurry-some and tiresome week. However religion based proclamations hold an entirely different perspective.

Christians have traditionally been wary of Fridays because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. In addition to that, some theologians hold that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that the Great Flood began on a Friday. In the past, many Christians would never begin any new project or trip on a Friday, for fear that the endeavor would be doomed from the start.” (www.howstuffworks.com)

13 is a number that, from the beginning I had no personal attachment to. 3 was my  favourite number, my birth number and therefore, closest to me. But then, 13 started popping into my life in the odd combinations of roll numbers in schools and colleges, as in 013, the numbers of candies I would randomly pick would count to 13 (this has happened to me at least thrice so far) – Don’t worry, all those exams I wrote with 013 as my roll numbers always ensured my progression. Never my digression. I happened to pick up this novel called the The Thirteenth Tale on the 13th of December which I didn’t realize until I saw the date I’d started reading it, in my account at Goodreads.com. However, the most significant incident that connected me to Friday the 13th on a positive note forever, was the birth of my second son. He was born on the 13th of February, on a Friday. That was the day, when paraskevidekatriaphobics (that’s what they are called, people who are phobic to Friday the 13th), stood on one side and I on the other, for real.

Besides, I don’t believe that numbers and days can be evil. Coincidence is the second name for superstition. If an incidence of a similar nature occurs more than once, out of sheer co-incidence, then a superstition is born. Humans have an uncanny knack of recognizing such coincidences, turning themselves almost rabid with fear if that particular superstition turns out to be negative, as the one such as Friday the 13th. Be it a day or a date, or a time, you are either hugging it or running away from it based on your superstition about it. Nevertheless, the material I have presented to you bares little or no significance to those who are mortally afraid of Friday the 13th.

In the eastern hemisphere  of the world however, this occurrence, in history, carried little or no significance at all. The easterners are, or rather were in the past not particular about Friday the 13th. Now, owing to the profound influence from the  west, a growing multitude of people in the east have begun to behave particularly odd on this day. They do not travel, do not inaugurate offices or businesses, they do not commence a project, do not meet friends, do not marry, do not have name-giving ceremonies, or any other kind of ceremonies for that matter, and in some cases, people do not even leave their homes.
For most modern day people, the fact that Friday the 13th is perceived as a spooky phenomenon, has an immense lot to do with the Hollywood slasher film, that involved a horribly disfigured (both physically and mentally) young man called Jason Voorheese, who goes on a slashing rampage at Camp Crystal Lake. Ever since then, as Friday the 13th arrives, many singular thoughts go back to two names, Jason and Camp Crystal Lake. However, as I mentioned before, Friday the 13th has been superstitiously considered inauspicious in the Christian calendar mostly because, Jesus and his 12 apostles met for the last supper, adding the number to 13. This collection of 13 people supping together proved most unfortunate – Jesus was exposed by his 12th apostle Judas Iscariot, which in turn led to his crucifixion, which fell on a Friday. Thus, a connotation for ill omen, Friday the 13th continues to strike a maniacal sort of fear within a superstitious heart.

Some historians claim that patriarchal Christianity saw the matriarchal Norse paganism as a threat and branded Friday as a black day because it bore the name of the most strong female Norse goddess Frigg. Desperate to strengthen their hold over northern Europe, Christian priests denigrated Frigg as a witch and spread the rumour that she would fly to meet her coven of 12 witches, making 13 in total with her presence. Thus, the day of Friday the 13th came to be embellished with all things evil, unfortunate, vile and distrustful.
There are many other stories and beliefs professing the negatively prophetic significance of Friday the 13th but in a Christian world, the incidence of the last supper and Jesus’ crucifixion on a Friday holds strong.

Despite bizarre insinuations, my relationship with Friday the 13th remains undoubtedly an open one. 13 is a regular number as any other number such as 12 or 18, and Friday is as good as any other day. Some occultists believe that number 13 stands for power (I like what comes next), neither good nor evil; just pure energy, entirely on the hands of the user as to what side it chooses. It is for the “power” that number 13 is associated with, which makes it disreputable. All numbers have spiritual meanings attached to it and 13 is no exception. Rather than having an adverse notion about the number, it is more beneficial to accept number 13 or the single variation of it in the form of number 4 , on an optimistic note like how the author Pittacus Lore did when he wrote the young-adult novel called I Am Number Four, which was recently launched as a Hollywood film with the dashing Alex Pettyfer playing the lead. (p.s. in numerology, there are only nine single numbers and all other double numbers simply add up to make one of these nine numbers)

Next time someone around you mentions Friday the 13th, you can tell them it’s not Friday the 13th that portends  bad omen, but their own pessimistic attitude and blind superstition that lends an impending anticipation of doom to the day. Remember the story of  it-will-happen-to-you-if-you-believe-it?
Friday is my favourite day and 13 is my special number and it shall always be.

“The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.” – Sir Francis Bacon

Images from deviantart.com

Playlist for this article (Spotify)

Surrender – Angels & Airwaves
Moon As My Witness – Angels & Airwaves
The Revelator – Angels & Airwaves
Inertia – Angels & Airwaves
Dry Your Eyes – Angels & Airwaves
Behold A Pale Horse – Angels & Airwaves
Closer – Kings of Leon
Guns & Horses – Ellie Goulding
Waiting for the Sun – JayHawkes
You Are My Religion – Firehouse

4 Responses to “The Ominous Friday the 13th”

  • Yoshay,

    “it’s not Friday the 13th that portends bad omen, but their own pessimistic attitude and blind superstition that lends an impending anticipation of doom to the day”

    Best advice ever : )

    I Hope you and Noah had a great night

    xoxoxo
    jess

  • Sanjit says:

    Well written……maybe u could add…..Friday is an auspicious day for both Hindus and Muslims as Friday is dedicated to Godess Laxmi Mata & Hindus fast ; For Muslim- Friday is a holy day-they visit their mosque. Friday is a Sunday in the Middle East. Well for Christians …..They call it…’Good Friday’ & we always got holiday & Easter eggs.
    Well, as for no. 13……its my lucky no. I always bet and win most of the time. And ask Madhuri Dixit why she stopped counting after 13…in her super hit film Tezaab….Anyway, millions of people are born on this day thruout the World….R they all evil?

  • Swati says:

    I have no fight with Friday the 13th either…I love Fridays too…Very interesting read, I knew about Jesus but the other historical facts are a revelation! Loved it!

  • Kriti says:

    paraskevidekatriaphobics – really!!!! Wow!! Yoshay I live on the 13th floor you know and I have been very happy so far (6 months). And I love Friday for all the reasons you have mentioned and more… What about meeting up with friends, sharing a few laughs with extended family, eating out and so much more… I had no idea, by the way, about the history of Friday the 13th. Just thought it was the movie because of which people are going frantic! There you go – ignorant me learning a whole lot from you : ) Thank you very much!

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Yoshay Lama

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