Friday the 13th - Where Does It Come From?

Friday the 13th is considered as one of the scariest dates of the year in the Western culture, making it the biggest competitor to Halloween. Friday the 13th is so infamous that not even Hollywood has not missed a chance to cash on by filming one of the greatest horror classics of all time and naming it Friday the 13th. What it is about that day that made it so infamous? Let's find out!

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To start with, Friday the 13th occurs whenever the 13th of the month in Gregorian calendar falls on Friday. This happens every year at least once, however it could occur up to tree times a year.  As mentioned, in Western civilizations, Friday the 13th is considered to be quite an unlucky day. Why is it considered unlucky? Well, the origins are actually pretty unclear. According to ibtimes.com, there are no written evidence about Friday the 13th before the 19th century which makes the unlucky day relatively new. However, the fear of the number 13, which is directly connected to the Friday the 13th, can be traced back to at least 1700 BC. At around 1772 BC, the number 13 is omitted in the list of laws in the ancient Babylon's Code of Hammurabi. 

Later on, in the Middle Ages, the number 13 became even more infamous originating from the story of Jesus' Last Supper where 13 people were present; 12 apostles and Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus was crucified the very next day after the day of the Last Supper. Interestingly enough, the day of the week when Jesus was crucified only happened to be Friday. Therefore, many believe that Friday the 13th originated from Jesus' Last Supper and Crucifixion. 

However, the strangeness of a number 13 is not only connected to Christianity. In fact, number 13 seems to always get the shorter end of the stick; there are 12 months in a year,  12 hours in a clock, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Descendants of Muhammad Imams, 12 signs of Zodiac, 12 days of Christmas and, as mentioned, 12 Jesus's apostles. It appears, number 13 continues to be the odd man out. Should we actually feel sorry for the little guy?

On a serious note, first documented reference of Friday the 13th, occurs in Henry Sutherlands Edwards' 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who actually passed away on Friday the 13th. Furthermore, in 1907, Thomas W. Lawson published a novel named "Friday, the Thirteenth". In the novel, broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a panic on Wall Street on Friday the 13th.

Another suggested theory of Friday the 13th's origin involves Templar. Allegedly, Friday, 13 October 1307, was the date when Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of Knights Templar. However, this theory was not mentioned until the 20th century. 

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