Friday the 13th

There are some not so lucky days, some extremely unlucky days and then there are days of the devil. Yes, you`ve guessed it right, the day in question is Friday the 13th -dreaded by many and believed to be the harbinger of misfortune and bad luck.

So what`s the big deal about Friday the 13?

According to Astroyogi.com astrologers, the number 12 represents wholeness (12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac etc) and 13 transgresses this completeness and is thus diabolic in nature.  Western Superstition states that bad luck is cast upon the person who embarks on a new journey on the 13th of any month that falls on a Friday.

As per western folklore and beliefs, especially Christianity, both Friday and 13 are unlucky and when they come together (which happens about twice every year) anyone who pursues a new activity is doomed to fail and suffer. It was a Friday on which Jesus was crucified and 13 people had attended the last supper. Moreover, Apollo 13, the only NASA mission to have failed was launched at 13.13 hours on 13 April.

There is also a tale that the British navy in order to settle the great superstition of Friday being an unlucky day, commissioned a ship which they named HMS Friday. The crew was selected on a Friday; the ship was launched on a Friday and was even led by a captain named Jack Friday, only to be never found again. But then again, there is no evidence that suggests that the story is true.

To honor the date of Friday the thirteenth, several movies and books have also been written; though most of them have been unsuccessful (now that`s some evidence!)

Is Friday the 13th really that unlucky?

Is it rational to place such a heavy load of being the cursed one on the seemingly innocuous date? Even Shakespeare had said "What`s in a date?" (pun intended!) Oh yes, there is also a name for Fear of Friday the 13th, medical folks call it paraskevidekatriaphobia.

As opposed to Christian beliefs, Jews and Muslims consider Friday a holy day-a day of peace and compassion. When a Jewish attains the age of 13, a ceremony is performed to welcome him into adulthood. The number 13 also marks the beginning of the adolescent years of one`s life.

Now consider this- in many countries the head of the state is named PRIME MINISTER which has 13 letters and so does CHIEF MINISTER and CHIEF ENGINEER, there are 13 major joints in our body because of which we are able to carry out almost every physical activity (1 neck, 2 shoulder, 2 elbows, 2 wrists, 2 hips, 2 knees and 2 ankles). Interestingly, Friday is the day when the week ends.  The phrase TGIF (thank god it`s Friday) was coined to express delight at the coming of Fridays.

The verdict

The great Friday the 13th is anything but a date, just like Wednesday the 12th (though it does not sound as devilish as Friday the 13th!). But like they say, there is no smoke without fire, it is perhaps possible that the date does have some evil connotations, but then again there must be many Friday the 13ths that have been fruitful and have gone unreported just because nothing supposedly evil happened on that day. There are two sides to a coin, which side you choose depends on you!