Superstitions 101: Paraskevidekatriaphobia
SAN JOSE, CA – I believe it is is the great Stevie Wonder who sings the song “Superstition.” Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the superstitious fear of Friday the 13th. Why, however, is 13 considered unlucky and Friday the 13th particularly unlucky? For those of you who saw or read “The DaVinci Code” you may know it had something to do with the The Knights Templar…however, I like this story from About.com better: “Twelve gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, the Evil One, god of mischief, had been left off the guest list but crashed the party, bringing the total number of attendees to 13. True to character, Loki raised hell by inciting Hod, the blind god of winter, to attack Balder the Good, who was a favorite of the gods. Hod took a spear of mistletoe offered by Loki and obediently hurled it at Balder, killing him instantly. All Valhalla grieved. And although one might take the moral of this story to be “Beware of uninvited guests bearing mistletoe,” the Norse themselves apparently concluded that 13 people at a dinner party is just plain bad luck.” Who thinks of this stuff?I’m not particulary superstitious, but my sports teams do seem to win more games when I’m not watching them. For instance, I will not watch the A’s play today and they will win. I was at Game 1 and, true to form, they scored only 1 run and lost. I didn’t go to game two, watched some of it on television and they scored 5 runs and lost. So, I’ll check the score tonight when I get home or watch some SportsCenter and, hopefully, they will have already won. I also won’t be watching Wake Forest play NC State this weekend. Go Deacs! (Yes, Demon Deacons is a lame mascot, but it’s the only one we have.)Happy Friday the 13th and thanks to the WWW for the wealth of information on the number 13 and Friday the 13th. (This internet thing is a wealth of information…I think it is here to stay.) Methinks that through the years people have just had too much time on their hands to think of all the reasons why 13 is bad and why Friday the 13th is worse. Have a great, lucky day. Or just a great, normal day. But, don’t believe the hype and have an unlucky day.