Ancient Legends And Myths Behind Friday The 13th

13/03/2015 12:22 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Adam and Eve chased from the Garden of Eden, 1540, Aldegrever, Paris. National Library, . (Photo by: Photo12/UIG via Getty Images)

Fridays are associated with relaxation, late-night movies fun and the beginning of the weekend. A time to raise a toast, "thank God it's Friday", and steer clear of work. But even in this modern age, not all are comfortable with the day.

Friday or the sixth day of the week has had a bad rep since ancient times. From the Pagans, Vikings and the Norse, to several other cultures, people considered the day ominous. Superstition lingers and more so, if it falls on the 13th of a month.

Bad Friday

1. Friday is supposed to be the day Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit and both are said to have died on the sixth day of the week too.

2. The Great Flood began on a Friday.

3. The Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday.

4. Christians believe Christ was crucified on a Friday.

5. Friday was execution day in Rome during the Pagans era and therefore a holiday. Some also observed it as a day of worship, and therefore did not embark on a journey on Friday, which slowly became a tradition steeped in fear.

6. The Church wanted to suppress the Pagan tradition and thus renamed Fridays as the Witches' Sabbath which also raised the fear of the unknown among the people.

7. In Hindu tradition, the 13th day is associated with post-death rituals and thus considered inauspicious.

8. In Norse mythology, 13 is a feared number. The story of 12 Gods feasting at the banquet hall at Valhalla when Loki, the God of Mischief, interrupted as the 13th one and disrupted the feast is part of popular folklore.

9. The fear of Friday the 13th is known as friggatriskaidekaphobia. Frigg is the Norse goddess after whom Friday is named and "triskaidekaphobia" is the fear of 13. Some also call it paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek word for Friday. Some people who have this disorder are so stricken that they cannot even mouth the words "Friday the 13th."

On The Bright Side

But not all cultures believe that Friday or the number 13 are unlucky.

1. For any Muslim believer, Friday is the day that has been designated by the Almighty and is considered the purest of all days.

2. According to Jewish belief, the Universe was built in six days and Friday evening was the start of Sabbath.

3. The Egyptians believed that the 13th stage of life was when an eternal afterlife was reached and this concept became famous during the 17th and 18th centuries and also spread to the western world.

The year 2015, incidentally, has three Friday the 13ths - in February, March and November.

So, to give yourself a reality check, whether you're superstitious or rational, you can stretch a leg, make a cocktail and watch the horror movie, Friday the 13th with a gang of friends and live to tell the tale during the weekend.

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