Friday, 20 March 2015

Friday the 13th

Today, when the world is moving on from all irrational facts, traditions and superstitions; there still exist some things, human can’t get away from. One such superstition is of Friday the 13thor the Black Friday. Friday the 13th is considered to bring with it- bad fate, unusual events.Though the superstition doesn’t have any scientific ground or logic, it is the most wide-spread superstitious fear (also referred as paraskevidekatriaphobia) till the date.

The fear of Friday the 13th is a conjunction of two different fears- the fear of Fridays and the fear of number 13. Both fears have deep roots in the western culture. The Christians assume them to be significant because 13 (Jesus and his 12 apostles) was the total number of persons present in the last supper of Jesus, and Friday was the day; he was crucified. Some people hold a belief that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit on Friday.

Friday the 13th, is considered to be unlucky, but it is like just another ordinary day. Sometimes, nothing happens on this day. At other times, history is created, for better or worse. Let’s have a look at some incidents that have created the stigma of bad luck about the day.

1.     Thousands of Crusaders Captured: On Friday October 13, 1307 thousands of crusaders (members of Knights Templar) were captured from their home and imprisoned by officers of French king Philip IV. They were later accused of illegal activities (none of which were proven). Hundreds of them were tortured and murdered of forced confessions.

2.     Brutal Massacre: On Friday August 13, 1539 the Aztecs brutally killed 39,000 people on the request of Hernan Cortez, who claimed himself to be a god seeking tribute.

3.     Swedish airplane shot down: On Friday June 13, 1952 a Swedish C-47 air plane performing secret cold war intelligence gathering operation for US was shot down by a Soviet MIG fighter. There were 8 people on the board and none could survive. And no traces of information and location of the plane could be gathered till 2004.

4.     Shocking Murder: On Friday march 13, 1964 Catherine Susan Genovese (29) was stabbed to death and then raped while returning to her home in the early mornings. This murder shocked the New York City and the world. 
Did it ever occur why westerns avoid going out on this day?

5.     Natural Disaster: On Friday November 13, 1970 a cyclone killed approximately 3,00,000 people in Bangladesh, which led to floods that killed above 1 million in our Ganges delta.

6.     Plane Crashed: On another Friday October 13, 1972 a plane crashed in the Andes. 12 people died instantly and even more were killed in the avalanche.
Now do you wonder why Americans don’t fly on this day?

7.     Technology Failed: On Friday January 13, 1989 a deadly virus called “Friday the 13th” crashed 100s of IBM computer across the Britain wiping out various important data and program files.

8.     The Fall of Thirteenth Floor- Most of the sky scrapers don’t have the 13th floor. Gregory Johnson somehow mustered up his courage to include it in his designs for the Empire Estate Building in New York. Three days after its completion on the deadly Friday 13th the weight of the building caused it to buckle and it crushed the 13th floor.
Gosh! Feeling scary to go to the 13th floor of any building now.

9.     Tourist Ship Sank: In 2012 on Friday the 13th a tourist crusade ship Costa Concordia partially sank. Around 30 people died in this accident.

10. The Unlucky 13: This story really did put me in dilemma, but it’s true. On August 13, 2010 at the 13th minute of the 13th hour of the day a 13 year old boy watching an air show at Lowestoft England was struck by lightning. God’s Grace, at least he survived and was lucky enough not to be struck by lightning 13 times and lying on the death bed. Well, I never believed in this shit of Black Friday, but now I am starting to.    

But there isn’t anything to be that much apprehensive about the day, bad things big or small happen all the time. But if you’re waiting for some bad fate on Friday the 13th, you’ll probably get one.

Anubhav Gupta

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