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It's Friday 13th - An Unlucky Day For Some
Many believe this to be the unluckiest day of the year (CCSS Level: Grade 8, Words: 308)
Jan 13, 2017 History

No-one really knows where or how the superstition began, but the number 13 is seen by some as unlucky, especially when it coincides with Friday. And if you hadn't already noticed, today is Friday 13th!

Ideas put forward for Friday's being seen as unlucky include the fact that in the bible, Christ was put to death on Friday. Ancient fishermen believed that launching a ship on Friday would send both ship and crew to the bottom of the sea. In the year 1307, a group of the Knights Templar was arrested on a Friday the 13th for heresy (denouncing God).

Ancient cultures such as the Egyptians, Hebrews, Norse, Babylonians and Hindus saw 13 to be linked with death or funeral rituals. In ancient Egypt, there were 13 stages to life, with 13 representing death. In Norse mythology, there's a story about Loki, the god of mischief, arriving uninvited at a dinner party of 12 gods, which ended rather unpleasantly when Loki got one of the guests to shoot the god of joy and gladness. That must have been quite a downer for everyone concerned.

Some reports put the monetary losses due to Friday the 13th at almost $1 billion in the U.S. alone. Apparently this is due to the loss of productivity and income which is caused by people not travelling or even not going to work at all.

However not everyone agrees with the unlucky tag. A 2011 German study tried to see if there were more people visiting hospital emergency rooms on Friday 13th. They found no link at all.

Famous singer Taylor Swift actually sees Friday 13th as lucky. She boasted, in 2009, "I was born on the 13th. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first Number 1 song had a 13-second introduction. "

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real, in fact



very old



seeming to the eye



seize someone and take them into custody



seize (someone) by legal authority and take into custody



a very large number, equal to 10^9



worried, troubled or anxious



something really popular amongst a group of people



serious or dangerous situation



well known



a place to care for sick or hurt people



money gained through work or investment



the act of introducing something, seeing it for the first time



how one thing affects another, joined



become aware of



to deliver or put forward something / now, at this point in time




the state or quality of producing something efficiently



a social happening, religious



better or greater than usual



a raised floor in a theatre for plays or a speaker