Friday 13th – Good Luck!

Posted By on October 13, 2017

Today is Friday 13th, that day that some people consider to be unlucky. There are various theories as to why Friday 13th is viewed in this way:

  • Friday is an unlucky day anyway because Christ was crucified on a Friday (some say it was also the 13th) and that there were thirteen present at the Last Supper, with Judas Iscariot being the 13th.
  • 13 is the number of witches needed to make a coven.
  • Eve tempted Adam on a Friday.
  • Cain killed Abel on a Friday.
  • It comes from Friday 13th October 1307, the date that hundreds of the Knights Templar were arrested on the orders of Philip IV in France. They were then tortured and burned at the stake.
  • Numerologists consider 12 to be a complete number and 13 may be seen as being “a little beyond completeness”.

Have you heard other theories?

Do you believe that Friday 13th is unlucky? Do share what you think of it in the comments below.

I wrote an article a few years ago Superstitions in Tudor England – have a read!

Notes and Sources

10 thoughts on “Friday 13th – Good Luck!”

  1. Dawn says:

    Bad luck isn’t particular when it strikes, any time, anywhere, anybody. l bet if you picked a day and date, then looked through history worldwide and religious text at all the awful things that have happened you could make a Wednesday the 23rd, Sunday the 2nd, Tuesday the 30th etc become ominous.
    But on this day in 1307, King Philip lV of France ordered the Knights Templar to be arrested, tortured and executed for idolatry and corruption.
    It’s about playing with numbers to feed superstition and back up a theory.
    Anyway l thought Friday 13th was just a scary film! Ha

  2. Banditqueen says:

    There are no unlucky or lucky days just good and bad ones. It has nothing to do with the day or date, just stuff happens. Some of the things people have superstitions about are funny and interesting, but for some they are very serious. For example someone told me last week that the Chinese are scared of the number 4 and they generally think red is very lucky. I have no idea why. In some ancient cultures dragons were good but in others bad. I know my mum was really ridiculous with nonsense superstition but never really cared. I think we all have rituals before everything important, whether from routine or some sense of it works but we do, superstitious or not. In the Middle Ages folk magic and natural magic mixed as harmless with orthodox belief, maybe because they worked closer to nature and depended on nature. Harmful magic to maim or kill or curse was frowned upon and had serious consequences. A number of serious beliefs donkeys years ago we would laugh at now, but probably hold them the same if we lived in those times. You didn’t even have to be an ordinary person who took belief in witchcraft and sorcery seriously, the more educated took it so seriously they wrote treaties on it and interpretation of the law depended on these works. We may say superstition, for them it was real.

    1. Christine says:

      Hi Bq did your mum used to say ‘touch wood and whistle’? My mum used to say it a lot.

      1. Banditqueen says:

        I think she possibly did, I know my nan did, but I do recall, umbrellas indoors and something to do with shoes and don’t change your inside out t shirt before noon, turn your money over on a new moon and so on. I don’t think she is superstitious per say, just said them out of habit.

        1. Christine says:

          Yes that’s it it was considered unlucky to open an umbrella indoors as well, it’s also considered unlucky to have peacock feathers in the house and to wear pearls at a wedding, as they are represent widowhood and tears, my mum used to have her favourite ones but she didn’t believe them either, it was just something to say.

    2. Roland H. says:

      In Chinese, the number 4, pronounced as ‘say’, sounds the same as ‘to die’ (also pronounced as ‘say’).

      Hence that number is considered bad luck.

      1. Banditqueen says:

        Thanks for that information, very interesting. Cheers.

  3. Dawn says:

    My Gran was very superstitious…blackbirds were bad luck ? so we’re Robins, bit of a problem when Christmas came along ha! Couldn’t come in back door and leave through the front and visa versa.. don’t cross on the stairs, and many, many more. They must have stemmed from somewhere and there could be logic behind some, but if it isn’t explained to you it becomes far fetched l suppose. Can see the logic of not crossing on narrow stairs perhaps you could bump into each other and fall, but anything else is ????? Interesting reading though.

  4. Christine says:

    My mum, bless her soul used to say never be rude to a gypsy and she said if a black cat crossed your path, that was lucky, my dad used to scoff and it is easy to laugh at superstions, but long ago when people’s lives were governed by religion and superstitions their fears were very real, in rural areas for one their well being depended on a good harvest and plague could run rampant through many towns and villages, natural disasters were seen as a sign of gods disapproval or if the devil was at work, charms were said to keep of the plague and in fact there must be hundreds of superstitions that have faded from memory, story telling is powerful and many superstitions were handed down through the family, I knew once why if salt is spilt you throw it over your left shoulder, but sadly have forgotten though I know it hails from Roman times.

  5. Globerose says:

    Just read an article in Vox (Aja Romano Oct 13, 2017, which suggests that the date and day were originally separate unlucky issues. It further says that the idea of the 13th of the month may have been unpropitious to sow crops on the 13th day of the waxing month, in Greece c 700 BCE: See Hesiod’s farmer’s almanac “Work & Days”.
    For Christians, the fact that Friday was named for the Norse Goddess of Love, Sex, War & Destiny, known as either Freya or Frigga, and ipso a ‘female’ day, may have possibly been a reason to think of it as a day of not so lucky event? Love God Balder may have been slain on this day perhaps? Not until the 19th c did the two, the day and the date, come together, possibly it appears and who only knows the reason finally.
    I like this idea of two historically separate mythologies accompanying Friday and the 13th of the month coming together at some point and merging into a completely new myth.

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