Are you afraid of Friday the 13th? If so, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that approximately 20 million people in the United States suffer from triskaidekaphobia, a fear of the number 13, placing it on the list of top fears just under fear of spiders, snakes, canines, and heights. But why do so many of us believe that Friday the 13th is unlucky? There’s a few explanations.
First, in most religious superstition, 12 is the number of completion or divinity, making 13 strange and unnatural. Second, a book written by Thomas W. Lawson entitled Friday, the Thirteenth was published in 1907, outlining the dastardly deeds of a fictional Wall Street broker. And finally, the date is believed to correspond to the destruction of the Knights Templar, as hinted to in Dan Brown’s best-selling book, the DaVinci Code.
In modern times, many of those who are party to piercing and tattoo culture in particular have taken a view that opposes the traditional superstition, and believe Friday the thirteenth to actually be a lucky day. For motorcyclists, 13 can represent the numerical value of the letter M for motorcycle, and consequently is often worn or tattooed among certain circles. And for gamblers and magicians, the thirteen is lucky because each suit in a deck has thirteen cards.
Some who are born on the thirteenth day of the month or feel a correlation to the number elsewhere in their lives believe it’s lucky too. According to many piercers, Friday the 13th is one their busier days, for much the same reason as Halloween: lots of us choose to celebrate a day of mystery and superstition by getting a new piercing.
Regardless of whether we celebrate or fear it, one thing is for certain: Friday the 13th will occur twice more in the 2012 year, once in April, and again in July.