Are you suffering from paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia today? No worries, you’re in good company. Oops, you don’t know what either of those words mean…both refer to the fear of Friday the 13th and an estimated 8 percent of the U.S. population suffers from the phobia. But why, why are people so afraid of this particular day? Ready kiddies? Here comes this history lesson.
As with so many things, it all starts with a woman. It is said that Eve gave Adam that forbidden fruit on a Friday. And then we have the 900 B.C. Germanic peoples of northwestern Europe who practiced the pagan religion of Norse. In the Norse religion, Frigg is the goddess of love and sex.
Frigg is a strong female figure within this pagan religion, which some historians believe posed a threat to male-dominated sects of Christianity. In order to “fight” Frigg’s influence, the Christian church characterized her as a witch, vilifying Friday, the day named after her. It was said that Frigg would often join a coven of witches, normally a group of 12, bringing the total to 13. This characterization of Frigg most likely played a part in the fear of the number 13.
The myths surrounding Friday the 13th are actually a combination of two separate fears, the fear of the number 13 and the fear of Fridays. The most familiar source of both these phobias is Christian theology. Thirteen is significant to Christians because it is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper and Friday, well uh; Jesus was crucified on a Friday. So it’s understandable why some Christians may get a little freaked by Friday, the number 13 and Friday the 13th.
Source: Reverend Barbara Gunsel
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