Glancing at the calendar, tomorrow is Friday the 13th of August. While we can experience up to three of these “scary” days in a year – 2020 had two! – this is the only time we’ll see it this year. Superstitions are strange and unusual creatures. Some of them seem silly and random while others appear to have existed in our culture since before recorded history.
Fears and troubles around the number 13 seem to indicate that it is one of the oldest superstitions in the world. Most tall buildings and hotels lack a thirteenth floor. Ancient mariners would never take on a crew of more than eleven (12 people counting the Captain). The earliest known copy of the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi lists 282 laws, omitting number thirteen.
Twelve is also historically considered a number of completion. We have the 12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas, 12 gods of Olympus and the 12 labors of Hercules.
The bad tidings associated with Fridays probably arose as a result of Jesus being crucified on Good Friday. It didn’t help that there were thirteen people around the table, counting our Savior. That gave rise to a tradition of limiting dinner parties to 12 per table.
There are some folks who believe that Eve ate the forbidden fruit and Cain killed Abel on subsequent Friday the 13ths. Which is a pretty unrealistic assumption, given the first calendars developed in 2000 BC, and the one we follow now didn’t develop until the late 1500’s.
History has helped cement the negative connotations of Friday the 13th. The Knights Templar were famously rounded up and killed on Friday, October 13, 1307. The Nazis bombed Buckingham Palace on Friday, September 13, 1940. And two planes went down, thousands of miles away from one another on Friday, October 13, 1972.
Popping the Culture
Thomas William Lawson wrote the book Friday the Thirteenth in 1907, the first time we know that the superstition was put into formal print. And of course, Jason Voorhees started the 80’s slasher film trend, killing on Friday the 13th.
The good news is we don’t have to live in fear of superstitions – silly or otherwise. But if you’re still struggling with a bit of Friggatriskaidekaphobia – yes, there’s an official name for it – there is a way you can break the “curse.” You just subvert things by making Friday the 13th a positive day!
For example, you can schedule your first Go Green Perimeter Plus treatment. Our most popular green insect control solution keeps the creepy crawlies out of your home and away from your family. And it works year round! And you can add some of our exclusive No Bite Zones Mosquito Protection Program items, and we’ll deliver it all at the same time. For all the details, just give us a call!