Friday 13th: 13 Fun Facts

Freitag der 13. – 13 (über)lebenswichtige Fakten

Friday 13th, the day many associate with bad luck, evil or just plain bad luck. But why? Here are 13 fun facts about Friday 13th. Oh, and don’t worry, nothing bad will happen to you if you read this post. Unless of course, it’s Friday 13th…

1. In Paris, superstitious diners in parties of 13 can either order an additional place to be set or hire a quatorzieme, a professional 14th guest.

2. Margaret Thatcher, Fidel Castro and Butch Cassidy are just some of the celebrities to have been born on Friday 13th.

3.  There is no avoiding this day, every year at least one and at most three Fridays that fall on the 13th. And lucky us, because 2012 is the lucky latter. We will enjoy three Friday 13ths in January, April and July. Not a good year for the superstitious!

4. In some hotels, especially in the US. there is no 13th floor and the elevators only have buttons for the 12th and 14th floors. Similarly, many hotels and no hospitals have a number 13 room.

5. Sometimes the number 13 itself is deemed so unlucky that it is eliminated altogether. For example, did you know that some airlines don’t have a row 13. Few airport terminals have a gate 13.

6. Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the medical name given to those with a morbid fear of Friday 13th. Most people affected by this strange illness remain at home and cancel holiday plans. US President Franklin Roosevelt would not travel on the 13th of any month.

7. According to the British Medical Journal there is a significant increase in traffic-related accidents when the date is Friday 13th.

8. In some streets house number 13 is simply omitted or replaced with 12½ or 12A. But for those that do risk a number 13, that house is often cheaper – at least in the UK. According to property website Zoopla, you can save saves £4,000!

9. In Spain and many Spanish-speaking countries, it is  Tuesday 13th and in Italy Friday 17th that are traditionally feared.

10. According to the German insurance company Schwarzen Freitag 3-5 times more people stay at home on “Black Friday” and call in sick.

11. According Swoodoo.com flights departing on Friday 13th May 2011 were 5% cheaper than on other Fridays in the same month. Well, at least it is not all bad news then eh?!

12. On April 13, 2029, a Friday, the asteroid 99942 will make its closest encounter with earth.

13. Even figures of historical importance refused to risk bad luck. Napoleon would not go to battle on Friday 13th and Bismarck refused to sign any contracts. Fear of the number 13 is called Triskaidekaphobia.

Thanks to laverrueeschipulBrian Tomlinsonquinn.anya and Soon for the images off Flickr. Please note, all images were suitable for use at the time of publication according to the Creative Commons license.

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