MANY consider Friday the 13th to be one of the most unlucky dates in the year, and the first one in 2017 is taking place in January.
Whether you are superstitious or not, here is everything you need to know about the widespread apprehension of the day.
Why is Friday the 13th unlucky?
Considering Friday the 13th as unlucky dates back for hundreds of years, with the tradition said to have begun in the Middle Ages or even Biblical times.
Some say the superstition arose from Jesus’ last supper, where is it thought there were 13 people present on the night before his death – which occurred on a Friday.
Thanks to a string of events that have occurred on this day, many feel it is jinxed and pay particular care to avoid catastrophe when it comes around.
The fear is so widespread – an estimate suggests an extraordinary 17-21 million Americans are afraid of the day – that psychologists have even come up with a word for those who suffer from it: paraskavedekatriaphobia.
Some say the superstition arose from Jesus’ last supper with the 13th member being the traitor Judas Iscariot
Where did the superstition come from?
One of the most popularised stories surrounding the origin of the superstition was when multitudes of Knights Templar were captured and tortured in France in 1307 on Friday, October 13.
In his Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer also referred to the unlucky day, saying that starting a journey or a project on a Friday is bad luck.
And according to Thomas Fernsler, a University of Delaware professor, the fear of the number 13 comes from it following 12, which is seen as a more ‘safe number.’
Many feel the day is jinxed and pay particular care to avoid catastrophe on Friday the 13th
Twelve is seen as a more complete number, as there were 12 apostles and we have 12 months and 12 zodiac signs.
As a result of the fear of the number 13, many buildings and hotels, such as the Carlton in London, skip having a 13th floor entirely.
The number 13 is also often associated with witchcraft, as it is deemed the number of witches you need to form a coven.
One of the most popularised stories surrounding the origin of the superstition was when multitudes of Knights Templar were captured and tortured in France in 1307 on October 13
When are the 2017 dates?
There are two Friday the 13ths coming up in 2017. These fall on January 13 and October 13.
What bad things have happened on Friday the 13th?
On Friday October 13, 1307, thousands of Crusader warriors were imprisoned and later tortured by officers of the French King Philip IV.
The Nazis dropped a bomb on Buckingham Palace on Friday September 13, 1940, during a blitz in World War 2.
On Friday October 13, 1972, a plane crashed in the Andes killing 12.
A cyclone in Bangladesh killed 500,000 people on Friday November 13 in 1970.
The original Black Friday occurred in 1989 on Friday October 13, when a failed buyout deal for United Airlines’ parent company fell through sending global markets plunging.
The Nazis dropped a bomb on Buckingham Palace on Friday September 13, 1940
Friday the 13th movies
The phobia of the date has been translated into a hugely successful Hollywood horror film series called Friday the 13th.
The franchise features a range of slasher movies focusing on the fictional character of Jason Voorhees, whose hockey mask has become a recognisable symbol for the series.
Before the movies existed, the most famous cultural reference to the date was a book by Thomas Lawson, published in 1907.
The Friday the Thirteenth novel centres around a stockbroker who attempts to crash the stock market on the unluckiest day of the year.
Friday the 13th is a hugely successful Hollywood horror film series