Do you suffer from triskaidekaphobia?
(Fear of big foreign words - I mean, fear of Friday the 13th?)
Apparently a whopping 17 to 21 MILLION Americans do! (And WHO KNOWS how many others all over the world?)
And we LOSE between $800 to $900 MILLION in business when that OMINOUS number falls on that UNHAPPY day...
More from YourTango: Katy Perry and John Mayer Split (Again) - Astrology Tip of the We
Because people are afraid to do what they'd normally do - they won't fly, they won't buy stocks, they won't purchase a new car...
(I wasn't kidding when I joked above that you may feel afraid to leave the house... But many accidents happen at home, so maybe you SHOULD leave the house before you fall in the shower or trip over the dog or something. KIDDING!)
Why all the worry over a number that just happens to coincide with a day of the week?
What's it all about and how did it all start - and what do THE STARS have to do with it? ('Cuz you know they have SOMETHING to do with it...)
There are MANY theories of the origins of Friday the 13th.
And they come from many different cultures...
There's a Norse myth in which 12 gods are having a dinner party in heaven. In walks an uninvited 13th guest. He convinces the blind god of darkness to shoot the god of joy and gladness, "Balder the Beautiful" with a mistletoe-tipped arrow.
So he did, and Balder died and the whole world mourned and became dark.
Many Christians note that there were 13 guests at the Last Supper and that the last to arrive (hmmm, the 13th guest - sounds familiar) was Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, leading to his crucifiction.
As for what the stars have to do with any of this, it seems the number 13 is thought to be inauspicious because it comes right AFTER the number 12.
12 is thought to be a number of completion.
There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac (aha! The celestial connection!), 12 hours in a day, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus. Even twelve days of Christmas... (which I believe BEGIN on Friday the 13th this year!)
In exceeding 12 by 1, it's thought that 13's association with bad luck is because it's unstable or imbalanced somehow...
It wasn't just in olden times that the number was feared. Today, more than 80% of highrises have no 13th floor. City streets that are numbered often "skip" 13th Avenue, airports often have no 13th gate, race tracks have no 13th horse stall, hospitals have no rooms numbered 13...
More from YourTango: Mars And Saturn (And Mercury in Retrograde!) Bring The WHAMMY In
And who could forget the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13?
As for Friday, there are numerous theories as well...