Friday the 13th

When it comes to bad luck, there are few superstitions as pervasive in Western culture as that of Friday the 13th. People believe in Superstitions like crossing paths with a black cat or breaking a mirror, the notion of a day that can bring misfortune is deeply embedded, even if believers can’t quite explain why.

When is the Next Friday the 13th?

Year  Friday the 13th Dates
2022 Friday, May 13
2023 Friday, January 13
Friday, October 13
2024 Friday, September 13
Friday, December 13
2025 Friday, June 13
Norse Legend

According to folklore historian Donald Dossey, the unlucky nature of the number “13” originated with a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party in Valhalla. Legend says the trickster god Loki, who was not invited, arrived as the 13th guest, and arranged for Höðr to shoot Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow.


Just like walking under a ladder, crossing paths with a black cat or breaking a mirror, many people hold fast to the belief that Friday the 13th brings bad luck. Though it’s uncertain exactly when this particular tradition began, negative superstitions have swirled around the number 13 for centuries.

While Western cultures have historically associated the number 12 with completeness (there are 12 days of Christmas, 12 months and zodiac signs, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 gods of Olympus and 12 tribes of Israel), its successor 13 has a long history as a sign of bad luck.

The Knights Templar

The predominant 20th-century theory suggests that it stemmed from an event that occurred on Friday, October 13, 1307, when thousands belonging to an influential religious military order called the Knights Templar were arrested for blasphemy and other affronts at the command of France’s king, Philip IV.

When the knights were burned at the stake in Paris, the order’s leader, Jacque de Molay, cried out, “God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon, a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death.” The holy warrior’s curse and wrongful death put a hex on Friday the 13th through the ages.

The Last Supper

Another superstition associates Friday the 13th with the Last Supper, attended by 13 people, Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples.

Fear of the 13th

Whether you choose the meet the day head or staying at home waiting for the day to end, either way you are part of the traditional and lore that have been with us for thousands of years.

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