It's Friday the 13th! Does that mean that it's not safe to go outside today? Or that I shouldn't fly on a plane? I don't think so... but plenty of people do. Apparently the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th have become very common during the last 100 years.
So why is Friday the 13th so unlucky? Well, for starters, 12 is the number of perfection: there are 12 months in a year, 12 hours on a clock, 12 Apostles of Jesus, etc. Therefore, 13 is said to be an irregular number and is unlucky. Further, Friday is said to be unlucky day. Jesus was crucified on a Friday and there were stock market crashes on Fridays during the 1800s.
How do these superstitions affect us? According to the Stress Management and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina 17-21 million people in the US are affected by a fear of Friday the 13th. Some are so affected that the will divert from their daily routines, stay off the roads, cancel flights, etc, just in fear of this day. (BTW- Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the term for a fear of Friday the 13th.)
Friday the 13th occurs at least once every calendar year, and can occur up to 3 times a year... this year we will have 3 Friday the 13ths- February, March and November. The next year in which 3 Friday the 13ths will occur? 2012!
Personally, I think it's just another day. Though I have to admit the social stigma surrounding the day can be quite a downer! Actually a friend of mine was possibly going to be induced today.... we joked last week about how horrible of a birthday that would be! :)