Friday, November 13, 2009
Happy Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th!!! Does anyone believe that this is a bad luck day anymore? Well, I am sorry to say they do. I have a friend I have known for years. She is so afraid of this day that she always takes a day off from work; she won't leave the house for anything...not even to celebrate her sister's birthday last year. And there are many more like her out there. It is a day when we find people re-arranging their travel plans, delaying surgical procedures, or just pulling the covers up and staying in bed until Saturday, the 14th rolls around. They are all afraid that something bad is going to happen to them.
There are a number of different theories about the origin of this being considered an unlucky day. The early theories claim that in the ancient religion, Valhalla (home of the gods) had twelve guests for a feast when a 13th, Loki, the God of Deceit, turned up uninvited and arranged for Hod, God of Darkness, to slay Baldur, God of joy and gladness. As a result, the Earth was plunged into a period of darkness and mourning. For Christians, thirteen was the number at the Last Supper when Judas betrayed Jesus. Furthermore, Adam and Eve were said to be expelled from the Garden of Eden on a Friday, and Noah's flood also began on a Friday.
Nevertheless, this superstition is taken quite seriously. Did you know that more than 80 percent of high-rises do not have a 13th floor? Or that airports skip the 13th gate while airplanes have no 13th aisle? Italians do not have the number 13 in their national lottery. Hospitals and hotels usually have no room number 13. Used to be in my superstitious days that I could never leave off on a book on page 13. I either had to stop on page 11 or read through page 14...but that was then, and this is now.
Who knows the one about breaking a mirror? Seven years bad luck. Well, if that was the case, I've broken enough mirrors to bring me bad luck through several lifetimes. Or stepping on a crack? What about finding a penny face up on the ground? Pick it up, and you will have good luck. And black cats walking in front of you. How could such a beautiful creature possibly bring one bad luck? I do have to admit to one superstition....I will not walk under a ladder. I wish I could tell you I had a rational reason for this like a fear that it will fall on me, but alas, I must admit, it's really a fear of bad luck that keeps me from doing it. Fortunately, though that's my only superstition, and since I don't come into contact with ladders on a regular basis, it is one I can easily deal with.....Knock on Wood!!!