Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

TODAY IS FRIDAY THE 13TH

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Today is Friday the 13th and the fear of this unlucky day crawls into our minds whether we choose to accept it or not. Any month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th, and there is at least one Friday the 13th in every calendar year. While in 21st century it may seem like an outdated concept to fear this particular day, the superstition still exists. You may have noticed that many hospitals don’t have room 13, many buildings don’t have 13th floor, many airports don’t have gate 13, and fewer people are willing to get married on the 13th.

There are many ideas and speculations about the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition. One common view is that the Friday the 13th taboo comes from the Bible. Thirteen ate at the Last Supper and that number was seen as unlucky, and Christ was crucified on a Friday, so that day was regarded as deadly. In numerology, the number 12 is considered the number of completeness as reflected in the 12 months of the year, 12 hours of the clock, 12 signs of the Zodiac and so on, while the number 13 was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness.

But the fear of the Friday the 13th isn’t the only weird belief that is around. In many cultures black cats are commonly associated with bad luck and the general belief is that black cats are associated with witches. Another popular superstition is that breaking a mirror will give you bad luck because the reflection of a mirror is a symbolic reflection of the human soul.

Friday the 13th is a tough act to follow but regardless of how, where, or when this superstition started, many of us still choose to believe in it and therefore the superstition lives on.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Victoria Sedova

Victoria Sedova is an accomplished author and literary translator. Her latest poetry collection is The Bay of Lost Love (BookLand Press).

Go to Victoria Sedova’s Author Page