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Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th or the Greek form, Dekatriaphobia

Explanation for British and Irish Ex-Pats Living in Greece


Friday the 13th is based on a Greek derivation - dekatriaphobia, a superstitious day. It happens when a Friday falls on the 13th day of the month. It can also be described as an extreme or irrational fear or dislike of this particular day/date. Many Ex-Pats recognise the day as something special. Depending on who they are, that means it is a day of good luck or bad luck.



What is the Definition of the Friday the 13th Phobia?

The fear of Friday the 13th or more formally known as" "paraskavedekatriaphobia" is an expression derived from the modern Greek words: Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (Friday) dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (thirteen) and phobía (φοβία) meaning fear. This is a more focussed specialized form, taken from "triskaidekaphobia", meaning a simple phobía (fear) of the number thirteen. Yet another interpretation of this phobía can be referred to as "friggatriskaidekaphobia" (a Greco-Norse derivation). The term triskaidekaphobia was first used in 1911 and came into mainstream use in 1953.

A Brief History of the Friday the Thirteenth Superstition

According to folklore specialists, there is no written evidence for a "Friday the 13th" superstition before the 1800's. The earliest known documented reference in English occurs in a biography of Gioachino Rossini published in 1869:

"(Rossini) was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends, and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13th of November, he died."

Previously and for the most part, Friday the thirteenth as a superstition was for a long time perpetuated by folkloric word of mouth in Britain and Ireland.

And so to the theorists on Friday 13th superstitions connecting Friday with the number thirteen.

Completeness in The Number "12"

In numerology, the number "twelve" is viewed as the figure of completeness. For number "12" stuff, look how there are twelve months in a year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus and the twelve ancient Greek gods of Olympus.

Incompleteness in the Number "13"

On the other hand, the number thirteen was considered an irregular figure as an "add on" to the number "12" breaking this completeness. Much negativity in Christendom surrounds the number 13. This can be traced to the fact there were 12 disciples at the "Last Supper". It is said in the scriptures that a participation of the thirteenth disciple would result in the death in one of them.

Norse Mythology

Norse mythology took up the same theme - that placing thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners. This myth is linked to Friday, the origin of the Norse name of "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. Legend has it that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting including herself, eleven other witches, and the devil - thirteen in all - and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week.

Cool Myth Stuff - For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as the "Witches' Sabbath."

Good Friday

Crucifixion of Jesus Christ reputedly took place on a Friday.

Black Friday (Unlucky Friday)
Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s in the United States.

English History
For the English, Friday has been considered an unlucky day since the 14th century as recalled in "The Canterbury Tales". As a result, those in business have long regarded a Friday that falls on the 13th as being unlucky to start a new journey or new project.

Popular Fiction:
"Friday, the Thirteenth", the book, Published in 1907
Thomas W. Lawson's popular novel Friday, the Thirteenth, in which an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th spawned many published references to Friday the thirteenth being an unlucky day.

"The Da Vinci Code" the book, published in 2003

The 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code popularized the superstition linking the Knights Templar, a monastic military order founded in Jerusalem in 1118 AD, whose mission was to protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades. In the book, King Philip secretly ordered the mass arrest of all the Knights Templar in France on Friday, October 13, 1307 - Friday the 13th.

Friday the Thirteenth - Date Stuff until 2021 
Mark your Diary

British or Irish diarists will tell you that any month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th, and there is at least one Friday the thirteenth in every calendar year.

  • February 13, 2009
  • March 13, 2009
  • November 13, 2009
  • August 13, 2010
  • May 13, 2011
  • January 13, 2012
  • April 13, 2012
  • July 13, 2012
  • September 13, 2013
  • December 13, 2013
  • June 13, 2014
  • February 13, 2015
  • March 13, 2015
  • November 13, 2015
  • May 13, 2016
  • January 13, 2017
  • October 13, 2017
  • April 13, 2018
  • July 13, 2018
  • September 13, 2019
  • December 13, 2019
  • March 13, 2020
  • November 13, 2020
  • August 13, 2021

The English language has not taken many words into common usage from modern Greek, but Friday the 13th is a rare example of one, in this case from paraskavedekatriaphobia.

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