Friday the 13th
If we are to follow superstition, today is not the day to do anything. Today is Friday the 13th.
Both Friday and the number 13 are considered unlucky, and their combination is potent. The belief goes back to centuries ago and can be traced to several origins, some of which carry with it overtones of gender issue.
It is believed that Eve tempted Adam to eat the forbidden apple on a Friday, sealing the link between women and the causes of man’s failure.
David Emery, in Urban Legends and Folklore, cites pre-Christian cultures who took Friday as their day of worship, the sabbath. Emery links this to the belief that brings ill-omen to embark on a journey or start work on a Friday. When Christianity came, Sunday (or Saturday, depending on which version of the Bible you read) became the day of worship (when God rested) and Friday became the “Witches’ Sabbath.”
Friday is said to have taken its name from Frigg or Freyr, a Norse goddess of sex and fertility, which corresponded to the Roman Venus, revered on the sixth day of the week and from which our Biyernes can be traced. But the Roman machos came to power and Frigg was recast as a witch, her day associated with evildoings.
Similarly, the number 13 is important among pre-Christian civilization. There are 13 full moons in a year, something significant to the goddess worshipping cultures. It also corresponded to the number of menstrual cycles in a year. But the lunar calendar faded away with the rise of Christianity who brought with it its 12 male apostles (as against 13 members of a witch’s coven) and 12 months. The number 13 became a symbol of restlessness, as Judas was the 13th guest in the Last Supper.
The most documented connection would have been the decimation of the Knights Templar upon the order of King Philip lV of England on October 13, 1307, a Friday. Hundreds died after being heavily tortured or burned at the stake, a practice used in the persecution of suspected witches in the Dark Period.
By the way, it is no coincidence that the heavy metal band Black Sabbath released their self-titled album, their first, on Friday the 13th, February 1970.