Friday, October 13, 2006

Paraskevidekatriaphobia

Fear of Friday the 13th is a pervasive superstition..This is the day that intersects both the unlucky number 13, and the unlucky day of Friday – a double whammy.

Some tell of 13 being the number who sat down for the last (unhappy) supper with Jesus. But there are also much older stories of people being unable to count beyond 12 (ten fingers and two feet). Any number beyond this was the fearful unknown number full of vague and unimaginable possibilities - and therefore a number to be avoided by any peace-loving person.

As for Friday: Scandinavian mythology marks this as the day of Freyja, and as such was associated with the worship of Love. Fish was offered to this goddess, and love was made on Freyja day. As with many other customs "adopted" by Christians missionaries, ‘Freyja day’ is no different. Fish was accepted as the correct Friday diet. But the worship of Love on the Friday of each week was frowned on by the Church, who believed that mourning was the only appropriate response to the crucifiction day of Jesus. So what began as a celebration of love became an unhappy day instead. 'And on a Friday fil al this meschaunce,' wrote Chaucer in 'The Nun's Priest's Tale'.

Which is all bullshit as far as I am concerned. Because today is my birthday. I was born on October the 13th, and so far in my life I have experienced eight Friday 13th birthday celebrations. And they have all been very happy events. Today has been no exception. I had a very contended breakfast with my wife Jenny. I had an amicable lunch with my good friend Alex. I have had many, many happy SMS greetings and phone calls from friends. And I had a great supper at home with my family.

Of unlucky Friday 13th? Dicken’s Scrooge would have said “Bah. Humbug.”

2 comments:

digitaldion said...

co inky dinky.... I think not!

The fact that our GREEK students had to write their final Greek exam on Friday that 13th.... ooooohhhhhhhh

You can read more about it in comments on my page and Gus' in relation to a certain device of torture..... eeeehhhhh

Murray & Gina UK said...

Well Happy happiness to you good man (although it is already Oct 17th)
I'll blame it on my parents who have seriously reduced my internet time with happy hours of dinners and Pictionary... siss.

I'm sure you'll have many more happy Friday 13th's, maybe I'll be able to buy you a beer at the next one!

(kimifum - the atmosphere in the Raikonnen pit garage)