Why are people superstitious about Friday the 13th?

A few times a year, the thirteenth of the month falls on a Friday. Some people enjoy scary and frightening things on this day. Others are afraid of misfortune or worse. The fear of this day is called paraskevidekatriaphobia, and it is very real and quite serious for some people.

No one really knows when or how the superstition of Friday the 13th became associated with bad events or circumstances.

Some simply point to the thought that thirteen is the most "unlucky" number and Friday is the most "unlucky" day. The combination, some say, is potent. Thirteen is thought to be unlucky for some because twelve is considered complete (twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve hours on the clock, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve disciples, twelve months of the year, etc.). One more is stepping out of bounds, so to speak. Others say thirteen is unlucky because of the thirteen people sitting at the table at the Last Supper, the last time all the disciples were together with Jesus before His death (Matthew 26—27).

Friday is thought to be misfortunate because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Of course, Christians call this Good Friday because this is the day Jesus took our sins to the cross for us.

Other theory points to the Norse myth about the goddess of love and fertility—Frigga, whose name means Friday. Frigga was identified as a witch by Christians and banished to the mountains. There she gathered together eleven other witches and the devil on Fridays to plan the revenge and misfortune for the following week. Friday became known as the Witches' Sabbath in Scandinavia.

Another theory recalls the arrest of the Knights Templar in France on Friday, October 13, 1307. The Knights, whose mission was to protect pilgrims on Crusade, were growing in power and King Philip IV took action to curb their influence.

In modern times, movies, books, and other entertainment have latched onto this superstition to market their programs. Some of these include Black Sabbath's debut album, the thirteenth book in the Lemony Snicket series, and four of the Friday the 13th movies.

Christians should disregard any superstition, including those associated with numbers, certain days, or even bad luck. Christians are to have faith that God is sovereign over the universe, His people, and the circumstances and events of each day. A Christian's trust is in His power, not the power of superstitions.

Ephesians 1:11 says, in part, that God "works all things according to the counsel of his will." Colossians 1:16–17 says that Jesus is active in everything, still: "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together."


Related Truth:

Superstitions – What does the Bible say?

What does the Bible teach about luck?

What is an omen?

How should Christians view paranormal activity?

Biblical numerology – What is it?


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