Would you get married, start a business, or do a parachute jump on Friday the 13th? Most of us would not consciously admit we give this day any real regard and yet, a little anxiety crosses our path like the shadow of a black cat on Friday the 13th.
Superstitions around this day all started with a Norse myth about twelve gods having a feast in Valhalla. The god, Loki crashed the party as an uninvited 13th guest. He set up Hod, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Baldur, the god of joy and gladness. A mistletoe-tipped arrow took Baldur out and the earth lost its joy and gladness. It was indeed a dark day.
Another superstition is based on the historic feast when Jesus invited his twelve disciples to their last dinner together. It was there that Judas was identified as Jesus’ betrayer and that led to Jesus’ death on a cross on a Friday, now considered Good Friday or Black Friday.
Dan Brown brought some of this chilling, yet superstitious tradition to light in his book, The DaVinci Code, about the Knights Templar. It is believed that thousands of them were arrested and killed on a Friday in 1313.
So much for traditions! Life as we know it is affected in other ways by this date. Airlines avoid having a 13th row, and elevators often don’t have a 13th floor. For some reason, we don’t create 13 step programs, or a top 13 list. We like things to happen in round numbers. We think numbers are luckier when they come in 10s or 12s. And yet, what about lucky number 7?
On the other hand, if you were born on a Friday the 13th, it is your lucky day. You don’t have to throw salt over your shoulder before you go to work, or carry a rabbit’s foot in your pocket, because life will simply shine for you that day.
Maybe it’s time to reengineer Friday the 13th…give it an upturn, make it a day for eternal optimists. May brings the only Friday the 13th this year. Let’s send cards full of lucky thoughts and warm wishes. Let’s bring Baldur back to life and spread the joy and gladness. Go on, get married. Make a soufflé! Tempt the fates. Just don’t invite 12 close friends for dinner.