What is Friday the thirteenth? Why human beings can be superstitious about the day Spooky season is officially here. Scorching summers have finally cooled off, a massified jack-o-lantern has taken over TikTok, and humans are uniting over a hatred of sweet corn.
But nothing is quite as spooky as a Friday the thirteenth that falls in October, and that is one of these years. The thirteenth day of the month falls on a Friday one to a few instances a 12 months.
This is the second one on Friday the thirteenth of this year (the maximum current one was in January), and the next one won’t be till September 2024.
Fear for Friday the Thirteenth may also have been amplified through the slasher movie collection, but in which did the superstition originate?
Dr. Phil Stevens, a retired anthropology professor from the University at Buffalo and writer of an upcoming e-book “Rethinking the Anthropology of Magic and Witchcraft: Inherently Human”, spoke with USA TODAY about the vacation and why it’s far an instance of “magical thinking.”
Superstitions, taboos, and suitable good fortune numbers are kinds of magical thinking
Stevens stated that he likes to consider the superstition around Friday the 13th for instance of magical thinking.
He says that magical questioning is when a person believes there is a causal dating between two matters that are otherwise unrelated.
For example, Friday and 13 together tackle an exceptional high school after they fall on the same day.
He also thinks of it as a taboo, as superstition has a poor connotation, even when someone uses it to explain their very own notion.
“The phrase taboo actually is appropriate for this form of superstition. Because it’s it’s the time period it means avoiding establishing a paranormal connection.
People can actively work magic to make things happen, recognizing the connections between matters, but if the connections among things should reason an unlucky result, then humans avoid the one’s connections.” Stevens stated.
Some people search for effective connections between matters. For instance, China kicked off the Olympics in 2008 at eight:08 p.m. on the 8 days of the 8 months because the variety is associated with correct luck.
Another instance is when someone has a good luck appeal or assigns a better fee to an object after it has belonged to a movie star, Stevens stated.
Biblical origins of Friday and the range 13
Friday the 13th combines taboos that come from the bible, according to Stevens. Based on the tale of the Last Supper of Jesus, thirteen humans were seated on the table and it happened on a Thursday. He was arrested that evening, and crucified tomorrow, on a Friday.
“So 13 is associated with that terrible occasion. And on Friday, the thirteenth you get a double whammy.
You get each of these factors coming together: the taboo towards 13, and the crucifixion, which was on a Friday,” Stevens stated.
Even though the taboo is tied to the Last Supper, Stevens stated it did not emerge as enormous till 1,000 years after Jesus’s story whilst extra human beings became interested in the bible.
Now he thinks the taboo is weakening as humans embrace the number thirteen more, and it’s far best a remember of time before it levels out.
Why superstitions are a normal human experience
Stevens said superstitions, taboos, and fortunate numbers are part of a human need to discover order in a crazy international.
“I suggest that a few shapes of superstitious conduct may be everlasting,” Stevens stated. “Some shape of magical thinking will also be glaring, as it offers us some degree of manipulation.
The world is huge, complicated, impersonal, unpredictable and the experience that one has little little bit of control over matters is reassuring.”
So whether averting black cats, cracks on the sidewalk, or looking over your shoulder on Friday the 13th, Stevens says all of it makes you flawlessly human.