Why is Friday 13th unlucky?


So we’re out of the World Cup, the heatwave has waved goodbye, and today is Friday 13th. Looks like our luck is out. But what exactly makes Friday 13th so unlucky? And how can you use this info to look smart when your sprogs start asking questions? We can help.

Much of the bad feeling comes from religion and belief systems. First off, thirteen was the number of people at the Last Supper (the thirteenth being Judas), which is a pretty damning one. There’s folklore, too. There are 13 witches in a coven, the Grim Reaper appears on the thirteenth tarot card (the Death Card *say this in a spooky voice*), there are 13 steps leading to the gallows and you’ll find 13 knots in a hangman’s noose. We never said this was going to be fun…

So what about Fridays? Hey, they’ve been considered unlucky since medieval times. Again, Christianity plays a big part. Adam and Eve ate the apple AND died on a Friday (not so lucky there) plus Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Back in the modern world, Fridays were the conventional day for public hangings – anyone else beginning to see a pattern here?.

General wisdom suggests you avoid starting anything on a Friday – a new job, journeys, marriage, moving house, giving birth (although we’re not exactly sure how you avoid that), even cutting your fingernails or hair.

So Friday 13th is a double whammy. The number thirteen is bad enough on its own but combined with a Friday? This date has it in for us.

Enough! We’re a proactive bunch here at The School Gate. What can you do to avoid bad luck today? Here’s our handy checklist:

• Don’t walk under a ladder
• Avoid the cracks in the pavement
• Don’t break a mirror or it’s seven years bad luck (for you)!
• Don’t open an umbrella indoors
• Try to find a second magpie if you spot a first
• If you spill salt, throw it over your shoulder to counteract the bad luck
• Don’t pass someone on the stairs
• New shoes? Don’t put them on the table!

Hang on a sec. Looking to spoof your kids? Throw some of these made-up superstitions in as well – and don’t blame us when they go wrong. Maybe you shouldn’t have spilt all that salt…

• 1 o’clock is officially 13 o’clock all day – you have tell 13 people this
• Recite the thirteen times table backwards thirteen times before 13 o’clock
• If anyone says the word ‘Friday’, spin around 13 times and say ‘Knickers to Friday’ as loud as you can!
• Wear 13 pairs of pants on your head until you’ve finished breakfast
• Finish every 13th sentence with the phrase ‘Farewell to you, Mrs Baddy Bad Luck Luck!’
• Buy mummy a large glass of prosecco and one of those giant Snickers bars


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