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Friday the 13th

It's Friday, usually a fun day for people. Last day of the school week or work week. A time to celebrate for the upcoming weekend.

Friday the 13th, however, can seem like a very unlucky day for people. The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia (don't ask me how to pronounce these Greek words!)

Do you know when and where Friday the 13th derives from?

"According to biblical tradition, 13 guests attended the Last Supper, held on Maundy Thursday, including Jesus and his 12 apostles (one of whom, Judas, betrayed him). The next day, of course, was Good Friday, the day of Jesus’s crucifixion. The seating arrangement at the Last Supper is believed to have given rise to a longstanding Christian superstition that having 13 guests at a table was a bad omen — specifically, that it was courting death.

(The Last Supper, painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, 1495–1498)

Though Friday’s negative associations are weaker, some have suggested they also have roots in Christian tradition: Just as Jesus was crucified on a Friday, Friday was also said to be the day Eve gave Adam the fateful apple from the Tree of Knowledge, as well as the day Cain killed his brother, Abel."

The source goes on to give a list of historical references to Friday the 13th, and the bad things that have happened.

"On Friday, October 13, 1307, officers of King Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar, a powerful religious and military order formed in the 12th century for the defense of the Holy Land.

Imprisoned on charges of various illegal behaviors (but really because the king wanted access to their financial resources), many Templars were later executed. Some cite the link with the Templars as the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition, but like many legends involving the Templars and their history, the truth remains murky.

In more recent times, a number of traumatic events have occurred on Friday the 13th, including the German bombing of Buckingham Palace (September 1940); the murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens, New York (March 1964); a cyclone that killed more than 300,000 people in Bangladesh (November 1970); the disappearance of a Chilean Air Force plane in the Andes (October 1972); the death of rapper Tupac Shakur (September 1996) and the crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy, which killed 30 people (January 2012)," according to

Whether you believe in these superstitions or not, there are plenty of media sources available out there to enjoy!

Many books and movies have been made circling around Friday and Friday the 13th. We have the horror movie franchise called "Friday the 13th", which is probably one of the most popular series (rated R — make sure you have your parents permission). There are also movies like "Freaky Friday", that has a more fun spin to it and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

One great book to read (midgrade level) is Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania Del Rio and Will Staehle.

"Warren the 13th is the lone bellhop, valet, waiter, groundskeeper, and errand boy of his family’s ancient hotel. It’s a strange, shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and mysterious riddles — and it just might be home to a magical object known as the All-Seeing Eye. Can Warren decipher the clues and find the treasure before his sinister Aunt Annaconda (and a slew of greedy hotel guests) beats him to it?"

These are just some fun examples of modern spins on Friday the 13th. For more information on Friday the 13th, visit the page cited above. So what do you think? Do you believe that Friday the 13th is bad luck? Have you had any experiences on Friday the 13th? We would love to hear from you!

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