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Are you feeling superstitious?

Watch out for ladders and leave loose change on the sidewalk, today is Friday the 13th.

Historically speaking, as a day of the week, Friday was generally considered to be an unlucky day, but when you add 13, an unlucky number, together with Friday, an unlucky day, you have a double dose of disaster waiting to happen.

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This unusual day has prompted many out-of-the-way explanations for its conception.

Friday had a bad reputation even in the days of Pagan Rome where it was execution day.

It was originally a day of celebration in many heathen cultures and was vilified for this reason by the early Christian church.

Sailors also have hard feelings for Friday and refuse to launch boats on that day.

One hundred years ago, the British government sought to quell once and for all the widespread superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky. A special ship was commissioned, named “H.M.S. Friday.” They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain. H.M.S. Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday, and was never seen or heard from again.

One explanation for the taboo comes from the number of people present at the Lord’s Supper, which of course, culminated in betrayal. Christ was also crucified on a Friday.

The stigma associated with Friday the 13th has only occurred within the last 200 years, and has no clearly defining moment of conception. In recent years, the physicians have made their mark on Friday the 13th history by coining the term, Paraskevidekatriaphobics.

While not easily pronounced, it can be defined as people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th.