Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday the 13th

Little known fact about Geek Girl: I am superstitious. Not in any crazy, out there kind of way, but certain things alarm me. You won't catch me stepping under a ladder, or opening an umbrella inside, because seriously, why risk it? So of course I was dreading Friday the 13th. I waited for most of the day for something to go wrong, some sort of sign that bad luck was upon me. But it never happened, thank goodness!
I made it through the day, problem-free, which makes me wonder if it's trying to loll me into a sense of security and the BAM! hit me with some bad luck. Anywho, here are some facts about Friday the 13th, gleaned from that great little website that librarians love and hate, Wikipedia.

1. The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia. (That's me!)

There is no written evidence for a "Friday the 13th" superstition before the 19th century. (This gives me pause. An ancient superstition holds more sway for me than does a newer one.)

3. However, it can be traced back through oral traditions, as according to author Charles Panati, one of the leading authorities on the subject of "Origins."
The actual origin of the superstition, though, appears also to be a tale in Norse mythology. Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil - a gathering of thirteen - and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week.
So, there you have it, some facts and lore. History, even, to back up why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky. Some say, in these modern times, that it is merely a combination of the unlucky number 13, and the unlucky day, Friday. Either way it gives me the heebie-jeebies.