Like walking under a ladder or breaking a mirror, Friday the 13th has long been considered to be associated with bad luck. But where does the superstition that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day actually come from?
It is often said that the bad reputation of Friday the thirteenth is connected with Christianity: there were thirteen people present during Jesus’ last supper: Jesus and his twelve disciples. Jesus was also crucified on a Friday, which is possibly the reason why Friday the thirteenth is considered an extra unlucky day.
An unlucky number in fairy tales and mythology
The number thirteen has long been seen as an unlucky number in other contexts as well. In Norse mythology, for example, the god Loki appears as an invited guest at a dinner with twelve other gods – a story that ends with the god Balder being murdered.
And who can forget the fairy tale Sleeping Beautywhere twelve fairies are invited to give gifts to the princess, while the thirteenth casts a curse that puts her into a hundred-year sleep?
What many historians believe reinforced the myth of Friday the 13th was a novel published in 1907, namely Thomas W. Lawson’s Friday the 13thwhich is about a stockbroker who chooses this particular day to try to topple Wall Street.
More recently, mainly horror films about Friday the 13th have helped cement its reputation as an unlucky day.