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Superstition and history behind Friday the 13th

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Today is Friday the 13th. Each year about 2-4 Friday the 13th dates occur, the last one was in April of this year. There are actually about 17-21 million American people who fear the date, believing there is a superstition behind it. The terms paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia are given to those people.

Strange and catastrophic events have also occurred on this day, giving some the feeling that the day is jinxed. A popular story surrounding the superstition comes from the vast amount of Knights Templar who were captured and tortured in France on Friday, October 13, 1307.

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A more recent event that occurred on a Friday the 13th was the crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy, which killed 30 people in January of 2012.

Some people fear the number 13 itself. This fear is called triskaidekaphobia. As a result of the fear, many multi-floor public buildings have avoided the number 13 altogether by skipping it when numbering their floors.

The number 12 is said to be a complete number (there are 12 zodiac signs, 12 months, 12 days of Christmas, 12 gods of Olympus) so the number 13 is believed to be incomplete. 13 is also the number of witches that are needed to form a coven.

Some superstition comes from biblical traditions. Including Jesus, there were 13 people at the Last Supper. Many people believe the number 13 to be a bad omen because Jesus was crucified the next day, on a Friday. It’s also said that Friday is the day that Eve gave Adam the forbidden fruit and the day Cain killed his brother Abel.

The next Friday the 13th happens in September of 2019.