Welcome to the first Friday the 13th of 2012!
That's right folks.... this year we are blessed with 3 Friday-the-13th's.... with the second and third coming in April and July respectfully....
....But, what's up with Friday the thirteenth anyways??? Why is it considered just a bad omen?
I did some digging, and was actually a bit shocked to find that the first mention of Friday the 13th being uber-bad luck wasn't until the 19th century, when it was mentioned in an 1869 biography. That said, both the number 13, and Fridays had had bad omens associated with them for some time, and so it was likely only a matter of time before they were linked together!
Some say the fear of the number 13 is as old as counting itself ! However, this would not be entirely true as many cultures respected the number: For the Egyptians, 13 represent death and the wonders of the afterlife, which they aspired to; for some pagan cultures it was part of their reverence of women as it corresponded to the number of menstrual cycles in a year (thirteen 28 day cycles = 364 days); and the ancient Chinese considered the number lucky. There is speculation the number became unpopular due to the significance of 12 in later cultures and in numerology: 12 Greek/Roman Gods, 12 Tribes of Israel, 12 Norse Gods at the banquet of Valhalla; 12 disciples of Jesus; 12 months in the year; 12 Descendants of Muhammad Imams. Twelve therefore represented all that was perfect and complete, and it was 13 that threw off the balance and brought irregularity and bad luck. As such, Hindus did not like to have a thirteenth dinner guest - something the Norse gods agreed with them on, as Loki ruined a dinner when he showed up as an uninvited 13th guest; and early Christians had The Last Supper with its 13 dinner guests and a fatal betrayal to enhance their fear.
As for Fridays... Well, Friday is said to be the day that Eve tempted Adam with the apple and the day the Temple of Solomon was destroyed. Christ was crucified on a Friday. It was execution day in pagan Rome and Hangman's Day in Britain. Friday also just happened to be a day of worship for many pre-Christian cultures..... so, perhaps the early Church had a hand in Friday's vilification to separate the pagan worship practices from their own. Take for example the case of the Teutonic peoples for whom Friday was a day to get married, as it was a day associated with love and fertility. The goddess of the sixth day was Freya and she became a witch in the post-Christian cultures and her day became associated with evil doings (as did her pet - a cat!).
And that, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to interesting tidbits on Friday the Thirteenth.... if you just can't wait to learn more click here, otherwise, check back in April ;-)
As for me, I'm going to go with the "day of love" theory, and intend to enjoy myself ;-) Happy Friday!
sources: about.com; katietalkscarolina and wikipedia.org