Friday The 13th Superstition Meaning, Origin, History Of Good Luck Bad Luck

Are you worried about Friday the 13th superstition in the year 2024? Do you want to explore the truth behind this myth? If yes, this article will clear all your doubts.

Many superstitions surround us daily, like breaking a mirror, a cat crossing our path, walking under a ladder, etc. Some superstitions are related to things while some are also related to dates and weekdays!

Yes, you got it right, we are talking about the infamous Friday the 13th!

There are many people all around the world from different countries and cultures who believe that good things and beginnings should never start on Friday the 13th.

In fact, the global economy loses as much as $800 million when the 13th of any month falls on a Friday. Many people try to avoid traveling, signing a contract, purchasing new things, and marrying or new beginnings in general on this day.

friday the thirteenth superstition, friday the 13th superstition and meaning

Friday The 13th Superstition – TLDR

Below are the varying reasons/meanings behind people’s belief that the number 13 is an unlucky number and Friday is an unlucky day.

  • In Norse Mythology, the God Loki showed up uninvited as the 13th guest at a dinner party in Valhalla, this eventually led to the death of God Balder.
  • In the Bible, 13 people were with Jesus on his last supper, before he was crucified the next day on Good Friday.
  • In Harry Potter, the number 13 is considered unlucky by both the muggles and the wizards.
  • Adam and Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit and committed the first sin on a Friday.
  • Cain Murdered Abel on a Friday.
  • Buckingham Palace was bombed on Friday the 13th.

To learn about the above points in detail, read further.

Why is 13 an Unlucky Number?

why is thirteen an unlucky number

The year is 2024 and we still believe in superstitions related to days and numbers.

To begin with the history of unluckiness, let’s start with the number thirteen.

The Gregorian calendar has 12 months, there are 12 hours in a day and 12 hours in a night, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 major Gods of Olympus, 12 ribs, and a dozen mostly having 12 things. 

The point is that the number 12 is hailed as a hero and is considered to be perfect and lucky in many cultures across the world. The number 13, which comes just after our hero 12 is considered a not-so-perfect number in comparison to 12. Therefore it is mostly considered an unlucky number in contrast to the number 12.

Moreover, Jesus and the 12 Apostles attended the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, and among them, the 13th guest Judas betrayed Jesus resulting in Jesus being crucified the next day on Good Friday.

Also in Nordic mythology, there is a tale of 12 gods attending a dinner party in Valhalla, and Loki, the god of mischief and chaos comes in uninvited, resulting in the death of Balder, the god of joy. After his death, the earth was plunged into darkness with no light.  

Also, if you have read Harry Potter, then you certainly know the meaning of the number 13.

It is believed an ill omen to have 13 guests at a dinner table with some people going as far as keeping a teddy or a doll on a 14th chair to avoid bad luck.

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What Is Triskaidekaphobia?

If you are afraid of the number 13 and try to avoid it altogether then you are not alone. The fear of the number 13 is so widespread that we even have a name for it! Yes, you read that right, the fear of the number 13 is called Triskaidekaphobia. Many notable people in history have had this phobia. In fact, even horror novel writer Stephen King is afraid of this number.

Origin and Story Behind Superstition – Friday and 13 Combination

origin and story behind friday the thirteen

Friday and number 13th clash and make an unlucky day that brings bad luck? Let’s find it out.

Like the number thirteen, even Friday is considered a day that brings bad luck.

Adam and Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge on Friday and were therefore banished from the garden of Eden. Cain murdered his brother Abel on Friday. Jesus was crucified on Friday. 

Now combine the day believed to be unlucky with the date considered to be a bad date and you get a combination of ill omens. Therefore people believe that Friday the 13th brings bad luck.

Meaning: What is Paraskevidekatriaphobia?

I remember my friend trying to pronounce this word when she was asked to describe herself. She pronounced it with great difficulty, but no one in our class knew its meaning. That day I decided to go home and look for it. 

The results astounded me,  previously I thought that the word Paraskevidekatriaphobia meant phobia of a certain thing or place. But when I Googled it I found that it didn’t mean phobia of any place but that of Friday the 13th! 

If you are afraid of Friday the 13th, then you have got a name for that.

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History of “Friday the 13th”: How It Became Synonymous With Unlucky?

Many unlucky historical events occurred on Friday the 13th, thus making people believe in it more firmly. 

Buckingham Palace was bombed on Friday the 13th, 1940 during World War II.

The Costa Concordia ship sank into the ocean on Friday the 13th, 2012. It is believed that it contained twice the number of people than the Titanic. Thirty-two people died.

Kansas experienced heavy floods and rains on Friday the 13th, 1951.

The stock market experienced a mini-crash on Friday the 13th, 1989.

A flight crashed into the Andes after taking off from Chile in 1972 on Friday the 13th. Only 16 people could survive in the mountains by eating other deceased passengers as reported by People.

On that same day, another flight crashed in Russia. All the 174 people on board died due to the crash.

The Bhola cyclone hit Bangladesh on Friday the 13th of 1970. NBC News estimated 1,50,000 to 5,00,000 fatalities in Bangladesh. The cyclone is also widely believed as one of the major reasons behind the partition of East Pakistan (currently Bangladesh). 

Swedish flight DC-3 vanished in thin air and was never seen again on Friday the 13th, 1952.

Black Friday bushfires in Australia in 1939 resulted in 71 people dying due to the fires and 438 people dying because of heat waves.

You must see this YouTube video to understand this superstition better:

Novel And Films On Friday The 13th

novels and films on friday the thirteen

Friday the 13th became more popular after the release of the movie Friday, the 13th in 1980. The movie has had many sequels and inspired many other films, games, comics, and other media

There is also a novel written by Simon Hawke titled Friday the 13th.

Countries Where Friday The 13th Myth Is “Believed”

The myth of Friday the 13th is largely believed in the United States. Other countries across the Western world also believe in this myth as some other days and dates.

INDIA8th August
CHINA4th April
JAPAN9th September
GREECETuesday the 13th
SPAINTuesday the 13th
ITALYFriday the 17th

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Should We Trust These Myths?

In a kernel, the answer to the above question is No. We shouldn’t believe in these myths. If Friday the 13th brought doom and destruction, then it also brought prosperity and happiness for some. 

For instance, Friday is the last day of the week! You get to chill for two days after that. Now isn’t that amazing?


And let’s not forget that Friday the 13th is not the only date when all dastardly events happen.


Can I sign my very important contract on Friday the 13th?

Yes, if you believe your decision to be right then go forward with it.

If Friday the 13th superstition is not true then why do so many people believe in it?

People believe in such superstitions because they are not allowing them to let go but just passing them on. It’s hard to let go of things that are taught to us as children.

Conclusion: Friday The 13th Superstition In The Year 2024

The most important thing to remember is to be positive no matter the days and dates. 

We humans have a long history of always blaming others and in that history, we have even blamed some days and dates for misfortunes that were sometimes brought on us because of us. 

So folks, let’s not blame these dates and days but believe in ourselves and create positivity.

Because you being positive will also attract positivity from the universe!

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