Friday the 13th - Superstitious or Serious

As we reach the halfway mark to a year that has been quite fruitful thus far, we are faced with an event that only occurs every few years. (And no, we don’t mean the FIFA World Cup.) Today is striking fear into the hearts of all paraskevidekatriaphobics (a person afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th), lunatic...ular worshippers and the odd superstitious soccer fan as today is Friday the 13th paired with a full moon.

This rare occurrence of a full moon falling on Friday the 13th usually only happens every 20 years or so. However, the next time this will happen will only be on August 13th 2049

Having a look at the superstition connected to Friday the 13th you realize it is actually a fairly recent development. As human nature goes we like to cling to structure: 12 months in a year, the 12 deities of Olympus, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples of Jesus, 12 signs of the Zodiac, 12 years of the Buddhist cycle. A 13th addition throws things off balance and eventually gave origin to the superstition that a 13th person seated at the table would result in the death of one of the diners, as with the Last Supper. When travelling overseas, take head as Italians perceive Friday the 17th and Spanish-speaking countries believe Tuesday the 13th as a day of bad luck. 

And although the superstitions around Friday the 13th are fairly new and mostly in our minds, the effects of a full moon have been a scientific fascination for years. There have been various studies to prove the effects of the lunar cycle on fertility, human sleeping patterns and various others. It has mostly been proved that the full moon does result in increased violence and aggression in people with mental disorders, especially schizophrenics. The term lunatic was after all derived from the Latin word luna which means moon.

So whether you are clutching your rabbit’s foot and avoiding crossing the path of your neighbour’s black cat or waiting to run outside and howl at the moon, it’s up to you. Today is a very rare occurrence and whether you see it as good luck or bad, we hope you enjoy the game...

Images supplied by C. Lombard and Google Pics