Friday the 13th Trivia

According to Smithsonian Magazine “fear of the #13 costs American a billion dollars per year in absenteeism, train and plane cancellations, and reduced commerce on the 13th of the month.”

Many hospitals don’t have a room number with 13 in it as well as a 13th floor. The same thing goes for tall buildings. Normally the 13th floor is skipped. Some airlines omit Gate 13.

Hotels rarely have a room number 13. Many hotel guests refuse to stay in Room 13, so rooms are frequently numbered 12, 12A, and 14. Same with floors of buildings and the elevators without a #13 button. Highways sometimes will skip exit 13 altogether also.

Certain ocean liners will be held in dock until after midnight to appease passenger’s fears on Friday the 13th.

Because of increased disappearance reports, the Empire State Building closes 4 hours early on Friday the 13ths.

A superstition that if 13 people sit down to dinner together, all will die within the year. The origin of this legend dates back to the Norse god of mischief – Loki.  The saga tells of Loki gate-crashing a party bringing the number of guests to 13. To cut a long saga short, Balder the good was killed. For this reason Norwegians believe that 13 at a dinner party is bad luck.

A “quatrorzieme” is a professional 14th guest hired by the French who had only 13 guests in attendance for dinner, who felt that was unlucky. It is believed that the 14th person will “balance out the luck.”

United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt would never have a 13th guest at a meal, nor would he travel on the 13th day of any month.

Industrialist Henry Ford wouldn’t do business on Friday, the 13th.

There is at least one Friday the 13th in every year, and at the most there are three.

Every month starting on a Sunday, will have a Friday the 13th in it.

There are 13 steps leading to the gallows.  And, 13 feet to which the guillotine blade falls.

13 knots in a hangman’s noose.

Hollywood has capitalized on the Friday the 13th superstitions. Four of the 12 movies released were done so on Friday the 13th.

The driver of Princess Diana hit pillar #13 at Place de l’Alma when she was killed in Paris, France.

Some speculate that a fear of the number 13 is the reason we recognize only 12 constellations in the Zodiac, omitting a thirteenth… Ophiuchus ( the Serpent Holder) that, by its location, could be included.

The ancient Hebrews thought 13 was unlucky because the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter M, which is the first letter in the word “mavet,” meaning death.

Some believe that 13 is unlucky because it follows 12, which in ancient Babylonia, China, and Rome was considered to be a lucky number associated with completion and perfection.

In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, and twelve signs of the Zodiac, while the number thirteen is considered irregular, transgressing this completeness.

13 people, Christ and his 12 disciples, were in attendance at the last supper. This is where the Christian belief ties in, making Friday a believed unlucky day, as the crucifixtion occurred on a Friday.

Tarot Card number 13 is the Death Card, depicting the Grim Reaper (although it is read as transition or change and not literal death).

Apollo 13, 1970, the 13th mission launched from pad #39 (13 x 3), mission was aborted, after an explosion occurred in the fuel cell of their service module. The rocket had left launching pad at 13:13 CST and the date was April 13th.

 

 Lucky 13???

The number 13 is considered lucky by Italians

Dan Marino, former NFL quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, is considered one of the greats QBs by some, and he wore the number 13.

Taylor Swift considers 13 her lucky number and used to paint 13 on her hand. She was born on Dec 13th, her lucky number’s 13, she turned 13 on a friday the 13th, and she turned 24 on Friday December 13, 2013.

There were 13 original colonies.

E Pluribus Unum has 13 letters.

The US Seal has 13 stars, bars, feathers in the eagle’s tail, 13 bars in one claw, 13 olive branches in the other.

On the USA Dollar Bill, there are 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 bars on the shield, and 13 leaves on the olive branch.

 

That Extra Roll and/or Donut…

* Years ago, London bakers were subject to harsh penalties if they were caught selling bread in what was called short weight. The bakers would add an extra loaf to each dozen to be sure the sale met the minimum weight requirement. They avoided the word thirteen and the process of adding an extra loaf became known as the “baker’s dozen.”

*A baker’s dozen consists of 13 for a reason! So the story goes a witch near Albany, NY demanded 13 items every time she came in to a particular bakery, and one day the old baker could not afford her extra biscuit. She sneered some strange words at the man, and he suffered terrible luck from then on, until he brought her another 13 rolls. After that life was once again easy for the baker and word spread around town. The custom is still sometimes practiced today.

 

 

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