Tomorrow is Friday 13th- a day many fear, and for once a date in the calendar that has no claim to the Christian faith or does it?
According to Wikipedia the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear).
Determining the origins of such superstition is an inexact science, at best and several theories have been proposed about the origin of the Friday the 13thsuperstition, yet it’s surprising how many of these have connections , however tenuous, to the Christian faith.
One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day.
- The number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve signs of the zodiac , twelve hours of the clock , twelve tribes of Israel , and Apostles of Jesus, whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.
- Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s Canterbury Tales , and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. It has also been suggested that Friday was the day that Jesus was crucified.
On the other hand, another theory by author Charles Panati, one of the leading authorities on the subject of “Origins” maintains that the superstition can be traced back to ancient myth:
- The actual origin of the superstition, though, appears also to be a tale in Norse mythology. Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil – a gathering of thirteen – and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as “Witches’ Sabbath.”
So if any of you readers are Christians from Norse stock born on 13th I’d stay indoors tomorrow!
More from Wikipedia on this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_the_13th