Paraskevidekatriaphobia

Say that three times fast!

It means an irrational fear of Friday the 13th and it’s a recognized phobia. Some people refuse to drive, go to work, eat in a restaurant, plan a wedding for that date…the list goes on.

Anecdotally, I’ll confirm a significant number of Bostonians must suffer from it. As I drove my DH to work this morning, traffic was eerily scant. My DH used to work for a major airline and they always scheduled major IT project implementations for that date because it’s a slow travel day. And a recent study in the UK reports that even though fewer people drive on Friday the 13th, the chances of being in an accident requiring a hospital visit go up 52% on that date as compared to others.

There are some theories on why this date is considered unlucky. The most popularized one is the Friday the 13th massacre of the Knights Templar in 1307. Some scholars postulate that 13 is derided because it is the number of the lunar months in a year (a “feminine” calendar as opposed to the 12 month “masculine” solar calendar). Some societies believe if 13 people sit down to dine together, one of them will be dead within a year.

Hogwash, my inner skeptic complains. And yet, I’ll confess it’s ok with me that many highrises have no 13th floor (Our building, for example, conveniently stops at the 12th. When we lived on the 12the floor of a 27 storey building in Seattle, the level above ours was labeled 14!). I’m cool with the fact that there are no row 13s in airplanes. Silly, I know, but there it is.

However, I can’t think of anything I’ll put off today simply because of the date. How about you? Do you have any superstitions about today? Will you change how you live your life because of them?

8 thoughts on “Paraskevidekatriaphobia

  1. Nynke says:

    Saranna, getting married on Wednesday the 13th sounds totally doable to me too :).br /I#39;m so glad my parents never made me draw or write with my right hand – I don#39;t think I could have drawn pictures nearly as pretty with my right hand (unless practice really is everything). And it wouldn#39;t have kept me from holding play swords in my left hand or being surprised that most people hold guitars left side up…br /br /Mia, chopstick left, that sounds exactly like my father, also a corrected leftie :). And as for left-handedness being a powerful thing, well, I can#39;t really aim anything with any hand, and I#39;m not particularly strong either – no team would want to have me, period. ;) But it sounds like a good motivational to store for later use with any lefthanded kids :).br /br /Glynis, of course you would know about paraskevi (I had Greek in school but that really didn#39;t help – I needed Wikipedia, heheh). Do you speak a lot of Greek in Cyprus?br /I hope you can get a new laptop soon! and I hope all of the other things didn#39;t all happen this week – that would be the mother of Friday 13ths!

  2. Glynis says:

    Paraskivee = Friday in Greek and I could do without the 13th added to it.br /br /My friday 13th…my writing mentor was laid to rest. My laptop died and my mobile phone shutdown. Mmm, not a good one for me. I hate this family PC!! br /From now on it will technophobia 13th for me!

  3. JennJ says:

    Hi dear! I don#39;t have a fear of Friday the 13th but I know it is a major thing for many others. Superstition is a thing that lies so deep in so many people, and it#39;s almost ingrained in some cultures from the start. While I#39;m not scared of 13#39;s I#39;m like you in that it doesn#39;t bother me that they don#39;t put 13#39;s in a lot of things like buildings and rows of seats. I do have my own phobias though, I think everyone does if they will admit it. Everyone is afraid of something… My biggy is germs yep I#39;m a germaphobe Lysol and hand sanitizer are my friends but I’m not like Monk or anything lol and snakes. *Shivers*

  4. MiaMarlowe says:

    Nynke–Being a leftie is a powerful thing. My brother-in-law could pitch a baseball 89 miles an hour and had a wicked curveball. A pro team would have taken him, IF he#39;d been a leftie. For right handed pitchers, they wanted more speed.

  5. MiaMarlowe says:

    Saranna–My DH is one of those quot;corrected lefties.quot; He writes with his right hand now, but if we go for Chinese, his chopsticks are in the left hand. The problem with messing with handedness is it scrambles the neural pathways, I think. My DH claims he#39;s now demi-dexterous (half-handed!)

  6. Saranna DeWylde says:

    Nynke- It was actually a Wed, when it happened. But sometimes our anniversary is on a Friday. And traditionally, I#39;ve always had a good day on Friday the 13th. I know better than to thumb my nose at the universe. LOL.br /br /Did you know that people used to think those who were born left handed were bound to serve the Devil? br /br /I was a lefty when I was a child, but my mother, as a lefty herself, would take the pencil or crayon out of my left hand and make me use my right? She said the world is designed for right handed people and she thought I#39;d have an easier time. LOL.

  7. Nynke says:

    I don#39;t think I#39;d want to get married on Friday the 13th – not because I#39;m really superstitious but because, for me, the only good reason to want to tempt fate like that would be to prove you#39;re not superstitious – not what my wedding day should be about ;).br /By the way, did you know today is also international lefthanders#39; day? I think they did it on purpose, to be contrary :). Still, as a leftie, I#39;ve always been fascinated by left-handedness and it#39;s a fun thing to celebrate :)

  8. Saranna DeWylde says:

    My husband and I were married on October 13. We#39;re both very in to Templar lore. *g*br /br /I am superstitious, but not in a traditional sense. For instance, I will never ask the universe for patience, because I know it will endeavor to give it to me. Not my some magic fairy dust, but by making me wait and wait and wait some more for something I require. So, I think patience is overrated. LOL.br /br /The same with saying quot;It can#39;t get any worse,quot;. That#39;s a big invitation to the powers that be to come poop in your cornflakes. It can always get worse, be thankful for what you do have and it#39;s okay to want more, or want to improve your situation, but there#39;s always a way it can get worse. br /br /I guess to sum up, I believe in laws of attraction. Negativity breeds a negative impact on your life.

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