Suffering from Paraskevidekatriaphobia? Timesharing Could Be Your Cure!
Friday, January 13, 2006
We all know there are many superstitions attached to Friday the 13th, but have you ever wondered why?
Today is the day to amaze (or annoy) your friends and co-workers by throwing around the words, paraskevidekatriaphobia and triskaidekaphobia. The first being the fear of Friday the 13th and the second being the fear of the number 13 and everything related to it.
Friday the 13th trepidation seems to have arisen from the fusion of two separate fears—the triskaidekaphobia terror of anything connected to the number 13, and a widespread belief that Friday itself is a bad luck day, or as some cultures label it, “the devil’s day”. Combine the two, and you apparently tempt a double-whammy of bad luck and ill fate.
Fear of the number 13 has often been linked to Christianity and the Last Supper, with 13 people in attendance. The betrayal and the (Friday) crucifixion of Jesus Christ followed the supper, as did the death of Judas Iscariot about the same time.
This left some people believing that the number 13 carries extreme bad luck and that it is certain misfortunate to host 13 guests for dinner, as one of them will surely die before the year is out.
In reality, the idea that 13 is unlucky is evidenced much earlier in history, in superstitions springing from Norse mythology, which date to the 13th (of course) century.
Those intrigued by the archaic evidence on this subject can certainly find modern day parallels. For example, in 1970, NASA launched Apollo 13 at 1313 hours, Central Time. As you may recall, during the mission (on April 13, to be exact) an oxygen tank exploded, resulting in near-disaster for the mission and her crew.
On the other hand, the Apollo 13 mission ended with the safe return of the crew and many valuable lessons learned, (not to mention some pretty nice success for Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, and Gary Sinise, as well). Furthermore, the systems at NASA don’t operate on Central Time, as Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center are clearly located in the Eastern Time zone, and their records are kept using Eastern Standard Time.
Looks like the triskaidekaphobes don’t have much of a case in this instance, though I admit that eerie coincidences are evident.
Still, if you find yourself plagued by paraskevidekatriaphobia, here’s a suggestion: Plan ahead. There will be another Friday the 13th in October of this year, two in 2007 (April and July), and one in June of 2008. Then use your timeshare to visit Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, or San Francisco’s Chinatown. As you may know, many Chinese people consider the number 13 to be a very lucky number.