Double Jeopardy – Friday the 13th and a full moon!

Millions of folks woke up this morning in search of their lucky trinkets as an attempt to ward off the evil and bad luck said to be associated with Friday the 13th. But how did this day become tagged as one of the most ill fated dates in history? The answer may lie within the following historical events:

Friday has been an inauspicious day for centuries in many cultures. Being held to be unlucky as evil powers were said to be at their peak on this day, Friday the 13th is definitely a day to be aware of your surroundings!

In ancient Rome Friday was execution day. From the Christian Bible:  Friday is the day that Eve reputedly gave the forbidden fruit to Adam, The great flood is thought to have started on Friday, God struck down the builders of the Tower of Babel on a Friday, The temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday, and as we all know, Christ was crucified on a Friday.

In Britain Friday was the customary hanging day.

The word Friday was derived from the Norse Goddess Frigg, wife of Odin. Frigg was known as the Goddess of marriage & fertility, the moon and witches. The Christian church had cast her into folklore as a witch and her day, Friday, soon became associated with witchcraft and evil doings. Her legend goes something like this:

The witches of the north were said to observe their sabbath on Fridays gathering in a cemetery under the light of the moon. On one sabbath the Goddess herself appeared before a group of 12 witches and gifted them with a cat, therefore completing the coven with the 13th member. From this day forward, cats are the most common familiars of witches, and all covens are comprised of 13 members.

The number 13 in itself has been unlucky throughout history, a few examples of such are as follows:

There are 13 steps that lead to the gallows

The hangman’s noose contains 13 knots

The blade of the guillotine falls 13 feet

There were 13 people at the last supper

The 13th card in a tarot deck is the “death” card

Princess Diana’s driver hit the 13th pillar at Palace de l’Alma when she was killed in Paris

Apollo 13 in 1970 on the 13th mission was to be launched from pad #39 which measured 13 x 3, the mission was aborted after an explosion in the fuel cell of the service module. The rocked was shuttled away from the launch pad at 13:13 on Friday the 13th.

It is reported that in an attempt to debunk the legend of Friday the 13th as ill-fated, the British government commissioned a special ship. It’s name, the H.M.S. Friday. The crew was selected on a Friday, the keel was set on a Friday, the Captain’s name was Friday and it was on Friday the 13th that she set sail on her maiden voyage, never to be heard from again.

There are many other references to both the ill-fated Friday and the unlucky number 13 that have been intertwined together beginning back as far as Ancient Egypt. Friday the 13th is the most feared day in modern history, and with so many different references from numerous eras and cultures, it is certain to remain so.

 

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