Friday the 13th

A Friday that occurs on the 13th day of any month is considered to be a day of bad luck in many cultures around the globe. Any month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th. Every year has at least one and some may have as many as three Fridays the 13th. There will be 48 occurrences in 28 years cycle of years. This is an average of 1.7 times per year. In 2018 there will be two. April and July. The last time that a year had three was in 2015. 2014 and 2016 had only one.

There has not been a historical date identified as the origin of the superstition. Before the 20th century, there is evidence that the number 13 was considered unlucky, and Friday was considered unlucky there was no link between them.

Friday the 13th doesn’t even merit a mention in E. Cobham Brewer’s voluminous 1898 edition of the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. There is and entry for “Friday, an Unlucky Day” and “Thirteen Unlucky.”

Paraskevidekatriaphobics is the name for people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th. The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates that more than 17 million people are affected by a fear of this day.

On May 9, 1980 an independent slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller with the title Friday the 13th was released. The film ‘s budget was less than $ 600,000. While not a critical hit is was a box-office success and spurred 11 more films.

Science says that on Friday April 13, 2029, Asteroid 2004 MN4 will come scarily close to Earth. It will fly past Earth only 18,600 miles above the earth. For reference geosynchronous satellites orbit at 22,300 miles. “At closest approach, the asteroid will shine like a 3rd magnitude star, visible to the unaided eye from Africa, Europe and Asia–even through city lights,” says Jon Giorgini of JPL.