How unlucky is Friday 13th?

Friday 13th is regarded as an unlucky day in Western culture, which sometimes has severe consequences.  According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Ashville, North Carolina an estimated 17–21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, with an adverse effect on the economy and to their personal detriment.
 
 On the plus side, a Dutch study in 2008 showed that there were fewer road accidents on that date, at least in the Netherlands. People who do go about their business, are more careful, such is the effect of the superstition. 
The number 13 and Friday 13th have a long history of being separately regarded as unlucky.  
A phobia about the number 13 is called triskaidophobia. 13 is regarded as being an imperfect number, coming after 12. It seems that 12 rules! There are 12 months in the year,12 hours on a clock, 12 zodiac signs. Children are only required to learn multiplication tables up to the number 12  (just for fun, try saying your 13 times table and see how far you can get!) Some hotels will not have a room number 13 and some airlines do not have a row 13.
 
Friday itself is not a happy day, in the Christian tradition and Christians may refrain from eating meat on that day, to mark the date. The combination of the two did not take place until the nineteenth century. It is possible that the novel by T.W Lawson in 1907, brought this about with its title “Friday The Thirteenth” In the novel, an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th.
 
 There was only one Friday 13th in 2008, the date of the banking crash in the UK, so the disaster cannot be blamed on an excess number of them, the maximum number in any one year being three. The longest period without one, is fourteen months. The shortest period is one month. We have had ours for this year on Friday, May13th 2022. It happens every time a month starts with a Sunday, so if you are superstitious, you have been warned! 

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