FRIDAY 13th WERE YOU CAUGHT OUT?

 

Did you stay indoors on Friday June 13th?

 

Did you think carefully about what you were doing that day… or did you carry on as if nothing was going to happen? Even the newspapers wrote about the importance of that Friday. I heard a few ‘casual’ mentions about the superstitions surrounding these FRIDAYS.

 

Folklore, as I know it,  recommended staying indoors and reading a book. If you were worried you should have planned on doing nothing so you are sure you will be safe. If you have a black cat I hope you did not cross its path. As I believe it black cats are not always lucky…if you are superstitious!

 

Hope you avoided any cliff hanging, skydiving or anything dangerous and were careful how you crossed the road, if you HAD to go to work. Did you avoid walking under ladders? Hope you drove carefully and carried some salt to throw over your shoulder for good measure … especially if you are a paraskevidekatriaphobics. This is someone who has an unreasonable fear – in particular about   Friday 13th. Please carry on reading. You are quite safe now as there is not another Friday 13th until next year so you have time to make plans for the next one.

 

Having said that 2015 is only six months away so be prepared. You had better take 3 separate days holiday leave next year if you are superstitious on Friday February 13th just before Valentines big day, March 13th just one month later and then November 13th, in time to recover from double whammy in the early part of the year.  Friday 13th is also back again in  2018 but we will  not worry about that now. In 2013 we had one of ‘those days’ in September and another was December 13th but I guess you remember both of these dates. So if you are thinking about preparing for February and March 2015 and THOSE Fridays, forget any big bets on ‘certs’ at the betting shop, as it is not a rumour that “things” do happen on Friday the 13th. These dates are also an unlucky superstition in Western and Eastern countries.

 

Wikipedia would have you believe that triskaidekaphobia is a fear of the number 13, and the more specific fear of Friday the 13th known as paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia Friday, the name that originated from the Greek Goddess called Frigg. Spooky – when I typed some of these long spellings Word threw a wobbly and said it cannot respond. Could it be coincidence – I think not!

 

The Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) on June 12, 2008, stated “fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home. Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th, at least in the Netherlands; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500.”

 

However Black Friday can be just any old Friday or any day really on which some major event occurs. Wall Street finances crashed which affected the world’s economy on Black Friday in 1929. Other events include massacres, bomb explosions, and riots. So I guess we can all have our Black Fridays even if it is not the 13th. Black Friday is also associated shopping but this name has various meanings including the last Friday before Christmas, Friday 13th and the Friday associated with Thanksgiving Day.

 

The blog.dictionary.com suggests that Black Friday was originally associated with September 24 1869 when the gold plan speculation collapsed and devastated the Stock Market but not on the 13th.

 

Dr. Donald Dossey, a behavioral scientist and the USA author of HOLIDAY FOLKLORE, PHOBIAS AND FUN: Mythical Origins, Scientific Treatments and Superstitious “Cures”, that was published in 1992, was numbered among the top 100 books by one bookseller, with sales totalling millions.

 

Dr. Dossey provided most of the long words here, from an earlier website which I saved but not the link. I believe it was written between 1992 and prior to 2001 when another Friday 13th was due. Dr. Dossey is well known as an expert on mythical origins and superstitions of holidays and his current work in treatments of phobias, anxieties and stress. His current website, about stress management and phobias, is www.drdossey.com

 

Dr. Dossey who styles his latest webpage a Stress Management Centre and Phobia Institute, has also written another book called “Keying: The Power of Positive Feelings.” As a great believer in positive thinking I hope to have a chance to read this book although I believe it is only published in the USA. The cover suggests you use positive feelings to get anything you want. I would also like to read his book about folklore too.

 

From the early webpage Dr. Dossey asked did you know….

* 17 TO 21 MILLION Americans suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia – the fear of Friday the 13th? (4 to 5 million in the UK)

* it has been estimated that 750 MILLION DOLLARS will be LOST in business because people will not shop, travel or take risks of     any kind on this Friday the 13th?

* that the U.S. NAVY to this day will NOT LAUNCH a ship on Friday the 13th? (when it was written)

* that OVER 85% will RISK THEIR LIVES rather than walk under a ladder?

* symptoms range from mild anxiety and a nagging sense of doom to full blown panic attacks?

* SOME WILL NOT EVEN GET OUT OF BED or leave their homes this Friday the 13th?

* that most other superstitious fears show up on or around Friday the 13th.?

* where breaking a mirror, believed by millions to bring bad luck, originated?

* that hanging a horseshoe the wrong way will bring bad luck?

* where the superstition of stepping on a crack as an ill omen was created?

* why some throw salt over their shoulder to ward off evil events?

* the reason why millions consider crossing a black cat’s path unlucky?

* why the number of members in occult, mystical and exoteric movements is on the rise?

For answers to these and many more fascinating questions surrounding Friday the 13th, superstitions, and magical spells, buy the book as I do not know the answers, sadly, sorry.  I imagine the figures above will now be somewhat increased over time.

 

Incidentally in Spanish speaking countries Tuesday the 13th is said to be a day of bad luck. The Greeks also favoured Black Tuesdays 13th as an unlucky day. In Italy Friday 17th is the day of bad luck, and the 13th is welcomed as a lucky day. It is said the Americans feel the same about Friday 13th as we do in the UK according to Wikipedia.

 

Talk about superstitious. ….the 2000 parody film Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth was released in Italy with the title Shriek – Hai impegni per venerdì 17? (“Shriek – Do You Have Something to Do on Friday the 17th?“).

What is even more amazing is the British Medical Journal in 1993 published a medical abstract following a study, which was called, “Is Friday the 13th bad for your health?” The study had considered the links between superstition and Friday 13th plus health and behaviour in the UK. The study looked at accident data for accidents, driving, shopping in an area SW of the Thames. Data about motorway vehicles, supermarket shoppers and the number of accidents with patients taken to hospital, were used  for their survey. The researchers discovered fewer vehicles on the M25 in the SW of the Thames in comparison with an earlier Friday. The number of shoppers hardly varied but hospital admissions due to road accidents were increased. Accidents are believed to have increased as much as 52% . The conclusion was Friday 13th can be unlucky for some. Guess what, the advice was “STAYING AT HOME IS RECOMMENDED”.

 

MY EVENTFUL FRIDAY

My Friday 13 was also somewhat unusual and I am not especially superstitious but it certainly was not lucky.  If you have local GPs like mine they will only allocate 10-minute appointments and deal with one topic. Sick of being unable to raise two issues  I booked two appointments this week and was offered Thursday and Friday. I accepted both – two conditions – but it just did not occur to me that Friday might be that date. I only registered the day and time, not the date.

 

My Thursday GP was thorough and decided I needed a “MoT” with full blood test on Friday 13th – I have the bruises to prove it. The other news was I needed a heart scan but that was not scheduled for that Friday 13th.  But it was bad luck that I even needed a heart scan. With the second appointment on the Friday 13th – two visits to the surgery that day – I got the needle and ended up with a pain relieving injection in the hip. So by the end of the day I felt like a pincushion. Maybe if I had gone to the surgery next week they might have missed all this Friday agitations. I drove home – SAFELY on both Friday visits – but nevertheless very carefully and then went to bed early to avoid any other unusual occurrence. I thought nothing would happen to me in bed – alone – unless the electric duvet blew up. Had I not been alone who knows what might have happened?  However I do believe I did fall pregnant on a reckless holiday on the 13th, a Friday, last day before we went home. That was some years ago and I have learned my lesson.

 

If you really are worried about these Friday issues you had better get yourself some good books to read on the occasions of three Fridays the 13th in 2015 or maybe consider hypnosis? If not, book  holiday leave for these days off and stay on indoors February 13th, March 13th and November 13th in 2015 – all Fridays. Maybe curl up at home with the book of  “Gone with the Wind”. This sounds like a good title and that should keep you indoors safely for a wee while. Remember not to leave the bath running unattended, put the cooker on and forget or anything else remotely dangerous. Do mark up your calendar with a skull and crossbones just as a gentle reminder and do not book a holiday to fly Friday 13th.  I know we have just had on of those days in June but we now have THREE more to look forward to in 2015 – maybe because February has 28 days and March has identical days and dates except at the end.

 

If you are superstitious about the number 13 log on to

http://www.richardwiseman.com/research/superstition.html

This is a fascinating UK Superstition Survey article by Professor Richard Wiseman – from the University of Hertfordshire Psychology Department and it is copyright. There is no real date when it was written but nonetheless worth a read. It is interesting about people who claim to be superstitious or even a little bit. I found this article and the report quite enlightening. Do enjoy it.

 

Some of the background information in my blog is courtesy of the British Medical Journal 199:307:1584 http://www.bmj.com/content/307/6919/1584 and www.drdossey.com – email drdossey@drdossey.com.

 

Back soon. Take care Jeanne

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s