London: Do you have an irrational fear of third Friday the 13th? If yes, then you are not alone. Thousands of people across the world have what has now been termed as “friggatriskaidekaphobia”.
Difficult to pronounce? Well, this November it was also the final Friday the 13th in a series of seven years, in which three of those years had three Friday the 13ths, Daily Mail reported.
Thirteen is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper and Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive.
And Friday was the day on which Jesus was crucified. Others say it has its roots in anti-paganism.
In Norse mythology, the beloved hero Balder was killed at a banquet by the mischievous god Loki, who crashed the party of 12, bringing the group to 13.
This story, as well as the story of the Last Supper, led to one of the most entrenched 13-related beliefs – that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.
Six years ago, there were three Friday the 13ths, and the same thing occurred in 2012, and now again this year.
“This might be disappointing, but… that’s just the way our calendar works,” Tom Fernsler, an associate policy scientist at the University of Delaware, US, was quoted as saying.
Fernsler explained that when Friday the 13th falls in May, June or August, it will be the only one of the year. This is because no other month of the year has the same date pattern as May, June or August.
First Published | 15 November 2015 4:22 PM