Superstitious people beware! It’s Friday the 13th! Commonly thought of as the unluckiest day of the year, in 2023, there are two Friday the 13ths. The first unlucky day occurred in January, and the second is today. But what is the history behind how Friday the 13th became so unlucky? And how can you protect yourself from getting down on your luck today?
It’s uncertain how the number 13 came to be associated with bad luck. In Western society, the number 12 has often represented completeness. 12 days of Christmas. 12 months of the year. 12 zodiac signs. There are many religious stories and beliefs that attribute the number 13 to be unlucky, and Friday gets the same bad rap from religious tales. When paired together, you have Friday the 13th – a day as unlucky as black cats or walking under a ladder.
Here are some more positive superstitions to keep your spirits high on the final Friday the 13th of 2023:
Cross your fingers. Those wishing for luck often cross one finger over the other. It has become such a common superstition, that now just saying “cross your fingers” may be enough to bring good luck in hoping for something exciting to occur.
A rabbit’s foot will bring you luck. Many things have been used to help fend off evil over the years and rabbit feet have a long tradition of keeping people safe. Stories of rabbit feet protecting from evil come from ancient folklore of many different cultures including Native American and African.
Lucky Pennies. Find a penny, pick it up, then all day you’ll have good luck! This superstition arises from the idea of finding money is ALWAYS lucky, no matter the amount.
Four-Leaf Clovers. It is said that finding a four-leaf clover will bring you good fortune. Some say it comes from an old Celts belief while others say, finding one is simply lucky because of how rare they are!
Elephants - specifically those with their trunk in an upright position. Elephants have long been associated with luck, wisdom, power, strength, and stability in Thailand and India.
For those who fear Friday the 13th and the unluckiness it brings, there are three names to describe this phobia: friggatriskaidekaphobics, triskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia. You’re going to need lots of good luck to say those out loud, so maybe don’t practice until Friday the 13th has passed.