Friday the 13th is a day that has earned a reputation for being unlucky in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday. But why is this particular combination considered bad luck?
The Unlucky Number 13
One source of this superstition traces back to a Norse myth. In this story, 12 gods had a dinner party in Valhalla, but an uninvited guest, Loki, arrived as the 13th guest. He caused trouble, leading to a tragic event. This incident in Norse mythology is one reason why the number 13 is considered unlucky
The superstition is also connected to Christian beliefs. It's said that 13 individuals were present during the Last Supper, and Jesus' crucifixion occurred on Good Friday. This association with significant events in Christian history contributed to the superstition.
Beliefs in the unluckiness of both Friday and the number 13 have been around for centuries, but it wasn't until the 19th century that they were linked together as especially unlucky. For instance, there's a reference in a 19th-century play where someone mentions being born on a Friday the 13th.
In the 20th century, the superstition of Friday the 13th gained more popularity, possibly thanks to a novel titled "Friday, the Thirteenth" published in 1907. This book created a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th, contributing to the superstition's modern influence.