13 Facts about Friday the 13th | Arts & Culture
1. Sorry friggatriskaidekaphobia sufferers -- there are three Friday the 13ths in 2012: January, April and July. That's the most there can be in one year.
2. So what the heck is friggatriskaidekaphobia? Fear of Friday the 13th of course. Frigga is the name of the Norse goddess of married love, for whom Friday is named. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13.
3. Because of the way our calendar (the Gregorian version) is structured, there will always be at least one Friday the 13th every year, and no more than three in any given year.
4. Friday the 13th is apparently bad for business. According to an article by "National Geographic," friggatriskaidekaphobes cost the U.S. an estimated $800 million in lost revenue because they refuse to fly, purchase real estate, or conduct normal business.
5. Four of the 12 films in the "Friday the 13th" franchise have been released on the infamous day.
6. The aversion to the number thirteen can be traced back to several myths and religious events. In Norse mythology, 12 gods were having a party and the thirteenth guest, Loki, killed one of them, casting the earth into darkness. In Christianity, Judas is considered the thirteenth disciple and the thirteenth guest at the Last Supper. In Rome, it was believed that witches gathered in groups of twelve, and if there was a thirteenth guest, it was the Devil.
7. Folklore also provides a few remedies to ease anxiety about the day. We think burning all of the socks we own that have holes in them is the least amount of work. You could also climb to the top of a mountain or stand on your head while eating a piece of gristle.
8. According to a Time.com article, 13's unlucky association with Friday didn't take hold in America until the 20th century. An eccentric stockbroker, Thomas Lawson, published a book called "Friday the Thirteenth" that told the story of an evil businessman's attempt to crash the stock market on the unlucky day.
9. Architecture is also affected by the number 13. Up to 80 percent of buildings in America do not have a thirteenth floor; many hospitals don't have a room 13; and airports also skip gate 13.
10. In Spanish speaking countries, Tuesday the 13 is considered unlucky. Some experts speculate this is because of Tuesday's association with Ares, the Greek god of war. Greek also consider this day unlucky.
11. According to U.S. government documents, on Nov. 13, 1789 Benjamin Frank wrote: “Everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes."
12. In numerology, 12 is considered the "number of completeness." For example, we have 12 months in the year, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 signs of the zodiac, and 12 tribes of Israel. Adding one numeral throws that balance off.
13. Colgate University in New York considers 13 to be a lucky number. Six clergy and seven laymen founded the school with "13 dollars, 13 prayers, and 13 articles."