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Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th, and many of you are possibly a little nervous about this. Of course, the classic horror film Friday the 13th caused many a sleepless night, but unease surrounding the day goes back to long before Hollywood plotted how to best terrify us. The superstition is a combination of two, one the Friday is an unlucky day, and the other the 13 is an unlucky number. In numerology, 12 is considered the number of completeness: 12 months in a year, numbers on a clocks, tribes of Israel, etc. The fact that 13 is one more than 12 makes is irregular, and therefore unlucky; at least that’s their theory. The magazine Mental Floss offers their take on why 13 is unlucky, including the fact that children become teenagers at age thirteen, and we all know how scary THAT is!

Why is Friday considered unlucky? We can blame Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales for that, and you will have to read it to find out more. Sorry, folks, no shortcuts when it comes to Fourteenth Century literature…

Here’s some good news to ease your Friday the 13th anxiety: According to the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) “fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home. Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th, at least in the Netherlands; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500.”

So that sums it up: choosing safe behavior can override any old superstition, even the double whammy of Friday the 13th. Be smart, and be safe, and remember that tomorrow is Saturday – a very lucky day.

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