Thank God It's 13!

Unlucky 13? Some people believe in it and some people don't. But, most people think Friday the 13th is a good day to stay out of harm's way. Every year has at least one Friday the 13th but luckily never more than three:) The fear of 13 is called Triskaidekaphobia. It is a superstition and related to a specific fear of Friday the 13th, called Paraskevidekatriaphobia or Friggatriskaidekaphobia (God, I certainly have a weird phobia for these terms especially if someone asks me to spell it). While fear of the number 13 can be traced back to medieval times, the word Triskaidekaphobia itself is of recent vintage, having been first coined by I. H. Coriat in Abnormal Psychology. It seems to have first appeared in the general media in a Nov. 8, 1953 New York Times article covering discussions of a United Nations committee. This superstition leads some people to fear or avoid anything involving the number 13. In particular, this leads to interesting practices such as omitting the number 13, in many high-rise American hotels, the numbering of streets avoiding 13th Avenue and so on. Apparently, 13 hasn't always been considered unlucky. In fact, it appears that in ancient times, 13 was either considered in a positive light. The association of bad luck with the number 13 has been attributed to the fact there were 13 people at the last supper of Jesus, although this association seems to have originated only in medieval times. The association has also been linked to that fact that lunisolar calendars must have 13 months in some years in order to synchronize the solar and lunar cycles, while the solar Gregorian calendar in universal current usage always has 12 months in a year.

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Triskaidekaphobia also may be related to Norse mythology, which tells how the god Odin invited eleven of his closest friends to a dinner party at his home in Valhalla, only to have his party crashed by Loki, the god of evil and turmoil, thus giving a total of 13 people. The association of bad luck with Friday appeared in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (and on a Friday fell all this misfortune) but references to Friday as a day associated with ill luck in general first appear around the middle of the 17th century. Note that the association of Friday the 13th with the arrest of Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, on Friday, October 13, 1307 by King Philippe of France. Further, the death card in the Tarot deck is numbered 13 and there are several mass murderers have 13 letters in their names: Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy. Of course, millions of people who haven't committed any murders have 13 letters in their names too.

Logically speaking, every phobia has its corresponding philia. Hence the love of 13 is called Triskaidekaphilia and I must say I’m a triskaidekaphilic:) Doubtless, 13 is my lucky number for the obvious reason. Well, for those who may not have heard before; can your heart stand the shocking fact of the shoe size of our detective? Congrulations! It's 13! Oh yes, I'm a bigfoot believer. Allright, seriously, first of all, I don't objectify men:) Second of all, I like tangible things therefore I don't believe in and rely on luck, fate, destiny, chance etc. I'm not an external locus of control person, I guess. Besides numerology, likewise astrology lack scientific evidence however narrow-mindedness sucks either. So, according to Anu Garg at A Word A Day, of all the dictionaries, today’s word, Tridecennary, is found in only one: the Oxford English Dictionary. Why? Because people don’t like to celebrate thirteenth anniversaries, it’s unlucky! Oh no, I already feel lucky to know you my dear detective so in this blog we celebrate all things 13.

13 is the natural number after 12 and before 14. 13 is the smallest integer with eight letters in its spelled out name in English. 13 is also the age at which children become teenagers. 13 signifies the age at which a boy matures and becomes a Bar Mitzvah in Judaism. 13 symbolizes the attributes of God's mercy according to the Torah. 13 is the number of important cycles of fortune/misfortune in Mesoamerican divination. 13 is considered a special number since 13 is tera in Punjabi which also means 'yours' as in, 'I am yours, O Lord' in Sikhism. 13 is also considered to be a lucky number in Italy. 13, as a letter, is the significance of love in Gematria. 13 symbolizes eternal life in ancient Egypt. 13 is the main theme of the Midnighters Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld as his book entirely based on the number 13. All the spells are based on thirteen letter words. The houses all have 13 pointed stars on the doorways. The town where it takes place has thirteen letters. And finally, it's believed that the Turks so dislike the number 13 that it's practically expunged from their vocabulary?! Despite whatever the historians say, as a half Turkish, I'm telling you: Wrong, 13 is the coolest number in the universe.