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Friday The 13th – Do You Feel Lucky?

Friday The Thirteenth
Photo by E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

This year, 2013 is a real double whammy for folks who suffer from both Triskaidekaphobia,” the fear of the number 13, and those with Paraskavedekatriaphobia,” which is the fear of the actual day of Friday the 13th.

For those with the former I’m guessing they can’t wait for this year to be over. The only year that might have been worse would be 1313. I wonder how that year went for everyone? Two thirteen’s in today’s date.

For all you word junkies, “paraskavedekatriaphobia,” comes from the Greek words “Paraskevi” (Friday), “dekatreis” (thirteen) and of course “phobia,” (fear). About 1 in 15 Americans have this fear so you might have to calm someone down at work today.

For the latter, you only have to worry about today and December 13th after that you are home free until June 13, 2014.

Is Friday The 13th Actually Unlucky?

The jury is still out on this one. While it’s true that bad things happen to people daily there doesn’t seem to be any actually proof that Friday the 13th is any unluckier than any other day. But that doesn’t mean it has no effect on society. Quite the opposite actually.

The Economic Toll of Friday the 13th

That one in 15 Americans that fear today take a pretty serious toll on our economy. One conservative estimate puts lost business at between $800 to $900 million dollars lost on Friday the 13th each year. Some people just stay home, move around as little as possible, and are generally a little more careful than normal.

Other Countries?

History, culture and superstition know no borders. In spite of the Greek translation for the fear of today’s date, the Greeks consider Tuesday the 13th as their unlucky day, and Italians are leery of Friday the 17th.

Some Final Thoughts

Many people feel a little fearful of breaking mirrors, spilling salt, walking under a ladder, and heaven forbid a black cat crosses your path. Many buildings don’t have a 13th floor. The city of San Francisco has no 13th street between 11th and 14th.

I have a full slate of things to do today. I guess it would be better to cancel them all and stay home under the bed. Although 2013 hasn’t been my best year ever it hasn’t been my worst either. If I can just make it through the next 78 days I can breathe a sigh of relief. Unless, of course, I break a mirror or spill the salt. And I do have a black cat named “Terrible.” How will you be spending September 13, 2013? Oh — Good Luck!

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