Yip, you read that correctly, Friggatriskaidekaphobia. But there ain’t no friggatriskaidekaphobia here, thank you very much!
Frigga – the name of the Norse goddess from whom the word Friday is derived.
Triskaidekaphobia – the fear of the (not so scary) number 13.
So yes, Friggatriskaidekaphobia refers to the fear of Friday the 13th, which according to superstition is supposed to be a day of bad luck.
Superstition: (a la Merriam-Webster, thank you very much)
a: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation
b: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition
A notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary
Well, I have to admit – in my lifetime I have, unfortunately, fallen victim to the silliness of superstition.
- I’ve gasped at a black cat crossing my path – because apparently that means bad luck for me – but surely the cat, who belongs to someone, simply walked past because he/she wanted to and can?
- I’ve knocked on wood to avoid bad luck.
- I’ve refused to walk under an open ladder, because this too brings bad luck – but surely the person who was using the ladder just needed to reach up really high, and a chair wouldn’t do?
- I’ve thrown salt over my left shoulder after spending a few minutes trying to remember which shoulder is correct.
- And I’ve even wasted part of my day looking for a four-leaf clover in a field full of what I later realised were just weeds.
Look, honestly – I serve a good God and ‘luck’ (good or bad) just doesn’t come into the equation. All He has planned for me is good, whether I see it that way or not, whether I like it or not. So one day, I will get myself a black cat and let it cross my path all the time and I’ll love it to bits; I’ll knock on wood only if it means I’m knocking on a door, wanting someone to let me in; I’ll buy a ladder, walk under it a few times and then use it to paint something up high somewhere; I’ll throw the salt over my right shoulder, into a pot of soup; and I’ll lie down in a field full of flowers, and weeds, just enjoying them for what they are!
And just in case you don’t believe that the superstition about Friday the 13th is daft, let me tell you that it’s a day of good things for me. On Friday the 13th of August 2010, I arrived in Berlin – it was the first time I’d left South Africa. I’d arrived in another country, another land…another world! It too was the day that Mani asked me to be his girlfriend! 🙂 So, Friday the 13th is GOOD!
Now go pick some three leaf clovers!