It's well known that many of us have a fear of today — Friday the 13th — sometimes called "Black Friday." But do any of us know why? Some believe our aversion to this day dates back to the Middle Ages, originating from the story of Christ's crucifixion, where 13 people were present at the Last Supper, the night before Good Friday. Others believe it was the day that Eve tempted Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, and the start of Noah's great flood. In days of old, babies born on this day in Cumbria were placed on the Bible, while others believed that it was a bad omen to call a doctor on Friday the 13th. But actually, no one really knows why it's considered so unlucky.
That doesn't stop us giving this fear an official name: Paraskevidekatriaphobia. This word marries the Greek word "Paraskeví," meaning "Friday," with "dekatreís," meaning "thirteen." But what about Friday the 13th? Well, for some, it's a day spent entirely in bed, a day never to fly, never to buy a house, and especially not to get married. But what if — dare we whisper it — Friday the 13th isn't as bad as we all think? Are there any upsides to a day supposedly steeped in bad luck?
As it happens, there are, according to British newspaper, The Telegraph. According to one travel search engine, Kayak, Friday, June 13, 2014 was the cheapest day to fly — owing to travelers' superstitious tendencies, which reduced the cost by 22 percent for the average flight price for that month. Bargain! Similarly, UK's car insurance company Direct Line claimed that motorists are more likely to have an accident on the 12th than they are on the 13th, when people are generally more cautious. The same can be said of accidents in the home; breakages and theft costs are considerably reduced on Friday the 13th, home insurer British Policy Expert claimed.
Want to get married? Try Friday the 13th! TheKnot.com conducted research that revealed that 1,345 fewer couples got married on Friday, July 13, 2017, compared to the following Friday. That might mean your dream band, location, church, and caterers are far more likely to be available, and therefore, your dream day will be even more of a dream — if you eschew superstition. Similarly, if you're looking to buy a house, why not purchase Number 13? While 28 percent of UK streets fail to include a Number 13 house, if you find one that does, you may save up to £4,000 ($5,700 USD) for your bravery, according to Zoopla.
That said, it can't be ignored that, yes, some dreadful things have happened on Friday the 13th. For instance, on Friday, September 13, 1940, Buckingham Palace was hit by five German bombs. Let's not forget there was a stock market crash on Friday, October 13, 1989, which led to the early 1990s recession — but some good things have happened, too. The Hollywood sign was unveiled on Friday, July 13, 1923 (built originally as an advertisement for a housing development). But if you need any further convincing that Friday the 13th may not be that bad after all, look to Taylor Swift. "I was born on the 13th," she told MTV in 2009. "I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks [and] my first Number One song had a 13-second intro." That's all the convincing we could need! But if you'll excuse us, we still have to rush back to bed and pull the cover over our heads.
This article was written by Edwina Langley. For more, check out our sister site, Grazia.