We’ve all heard that Friday the Thirteenth is bad luck, but who knew that it causes a national economic shutdown? Almost $1 billion (with a “B”) is lost on Friday the Thirteenth in the United States, due to people’s fears of doing business on that day, according to National Geographic. Today’s Friday the Thirteenth is even accompanied by a full moon, which has some quaking in fear.
But what are we so afraid of? It’s just a number, after all, but it’s one that’s loaded with cultural significance. In Christianity, the thirteenth apostle Judas betrayed Jesus Christ, leading to his crucifixion, which happened on a Friday. In ancient times, Friday was already known as a day of execution. These negative associations with both the number 13 and Friday spread from religion to society at large.
As long as society continues to pass along the superstition about Friday the Thirteenth, people will continue believing it’s bad luck, especially with movies like the Friday the Thirteenth franchise to give us nightmares. It’s been so ingrained it’s practically in our DNA.
So to keep the fear and dread away, why not plan something fun to do? Here are 13 awesome things you can do today:
1. Leave the house. This is the last thing that many people want to do on Friday the Thirteenth. But seriously, making a list of your fears and vowing to leave your comfort zone is a great way to conquer your phobias, and it would be a cool bit of irony to start today.
2. Use “Triskaidekaphobia” in a sentence. You’ll sound really smart. It means a fear of the number 13.
3. Plan a horror movie fest. This might seem obvious, but if you’re going to be scared anyway, might as well roll with it and terrify yourself with some really great scary movies. The Friday the Thirteenth franchise is a great place to start.
4. Go camping! Why not create a little Blair Witch moment on a dark night around a campfire in the woods? Or you could do it in your backyard. Just try not to wake the neighbors if that full moon makes you howl.
5. Adopt a black cat! We love this suggestion from the International Business Times. What better way to conquer your fear of Friday the Thirteenth than to give a loveable furry kitty a forever home?
6. Try a ghost hunt. This suggestion also comes from the IB Times. Go to your local cemetery or other haunted spot late at night and see what you find. It’s guaranteed to give you the creeps!
7. Pull a prank on a friend. Everyone loves a good prank, and as long as it’s harmless, today is a perfect day to prank someone.
9. Make a spooky cocktail! Drink a toast to freaky Friday with one of these petrifying potions from Better Recipes.
10. Make 13 cupcakes or cookies for a friend, neighbor or co-worker. This thoughtful suggestion comes to us from About.com.
11. Write a love note to your significant other with 13 things you adore about them. Aww! This sweet idea is also from About.com.
12. Tidy up your home. Clean your living space and get rid of dust and dirt, which can “block positive energies from flowing through the house and create negative feelings and bad luck,” Wikihow suggests.
13. Do a good deed (such as number 10). “One of the best ways to change your luck is to earn yourself some positive karma by doing good deeds. This is a way of repaying for any bad things you’ve done in this life or a previous one,” WikiHow explains.
Whatever you plan to do with your Friday the Thirteenth, we hope it’s full of good things!
– Lauren Chiong, KZZO/Sacramento
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