paraskavedekatria – phobia (Friday the 13th)
That’s the official name of “fear of Friday the 13th,” the same way arachnophobia means “fear of spiders.”
There are a number of different theories behind the history of how people became so superstitious about Friday the 13th.
For many people in ancient times, the number 13 was deemed to be unlucky. And as far back as the 14th Century, many folks felt Friday was an unlucky day to start on a new project or take a trip.
So when you combine the two of them, it’s like combining my ex-wife with menopause – it’s just a little too scary to think about the consequences.
And of course the term “Black Friday” is associated with the stock market crash back in the 1980′s, and other disasters as far back as the early 1800′s.
Some people also believe that Christ was crucified on a Friday as well.
Now I have no idea how they came up with this number (or even more important, why they came up with it), but the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, estimates that between 17 and 21 million people are actually affected by paraskavedekatriaphobia (a fear of Friday the 13th).
That’s 5 to 7% of the population of the United States!
Some folks have taken advantage of all this folklore surrounding Friday the 13th. For example, one of my favorite bands of all time, Black Sabbath, released their first album in the UK on Friday, February 13, 1970.
The Opening ceremony of Athens Olympic Games took place on Friday, August 13, 2004… and four of the 11 films in the Friday the 13th series, were released on a Friday the 13th.
To me, I love Fridays. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always loved them. Back then there was nothing like the thrill of waking up on a Friday morning and knowing school was over for the week and you’d be able to sleep in and hang out with your friends for the following two days.
And even though I don’t necessarily sleep in much, any more… and I usually DO work on Saturdays, I still like the feeling of it just being “Friday,” and I do tend to take it a little easier on Friday, try to knock off a couple of hours earlier and kick back a bit.
I also like seeing how enthusiastic my kids are about Fridays – they feel the same way I felt when I was younger, and I’m happy for them.
Everybody should feel this way, regardless of what the date is.
Because in today’s crazy world… who can’t use another excuse… to feel good… about their day?
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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