13 tales about Friday the 13th

The fear of Friday the 13th is known as paraskavedekatriaphobia (try pronouncing that!) a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskev -- meaning Friday, dekatris ­- meaning thirteen and phobia ­- meaning fear

The earliest reference of Friday the 13th, it is believed, was made in 1869 in the biography of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini

In numerology, the number 12 represents completeness (12 apostles, 12 months, 12 zodiac signs, 12 Monkeys) while the number 13 is irregular. As far as Friday is concerned, it has been considered an unlucky day since 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales

Every month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th can occur as many as three times in a single year; either in February, March and November in an ordinary year, or January, April and July in leap years

A belief goes that the fear of Friday the 13th is said to have originated in 1307 when King Philip of France secretly ordered the arrest of all Knights Templar on 13 October - a Friday. The Knights Templar was a monastic military order founded in Jerusalem in 1118, whose mission was to protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades. Over the next two centuries, the Knights Templar became extraordinarily powerful and wealthy and was a threat to the King

Another is that there were 13 diners at Jesus Christ's Last Supper and Christ was crucified on a Friday, but this theory probably originated only in medieval times

It has also been suggested that Friday has been considered an unlucky day because, according to Christian scripture and tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday

Some historians have claimed it was the day on which Eve bit the apple from the Tree of Knowledge, and the great flood began

Legend has it that if you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck. Serial killers Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names

Some world figures have folklore weaved around them with reference to Friday the 13th, Sir Winston Churchill never travelled on Friday the 13th unless it was essential nor did Napoleon, Mark Twain, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt

Ancient Romans regarded the number 13 as a symbol of death destruction and misfortune. That is why, even today, there are 13 knots in a hangman's noose

On January 13, 2012, which was a Friday, the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia sank in front of the island of Isola del Giglio, killing at least thirty-two aboard and injuring 64

Did you know?
In Spanish-speaking countries, Tuesday the 13th is considered a day of bad luck while in Italian popular culture, it is Friday the 17th 

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