It’s best to avoid all cracks in the sidewalk and ladders this week since Friday the 13th is coming up. It is estimated between 17 and 21 million people in the United States alone suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia, an irrational fear of Friday the 13th. Some people are so afraid of this day that it’s been reported that over $800 million is lost in business on Friday the 13ths, just because people are so fearful of doing their regular business.
The first superstitions around Friday the 13th arose in the Middle Ages, originating with the story of the Last Supper and Jesus’ crucifixion. At the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, there were 13 individuals present and Jesus was killed on Friday. Friday and the number are generally considered to be unlucky, so, naturally, a combination of the two equals double the bad luck.
One of the earliest documented references to Friday the 13th came in the 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, in which author Henry Sutherland Edwards stated :
“He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday 13th of November he passed away”
From there, in 1907, the publication of the popular novel Friday the 13th helped ramp up people’s fears of the inauspicious day.
Another possible origin for the unlucky day comes from Friday, 13 October 1307, in which King Phillip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar. Not a great day to be one of those guys I’d imagine.
The “safest” way to observe this non-holiday is most definitely through the use of hilarious memes. We’ve scoured the Internet for the best ones for you to share on your own social networks, earning you some extra good karma and “juju” before Friday the 13th.