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Friday, May 13, 2011

Friggatriskaidekaphobia: Antithesis of TGIF

(Photo by W. J. Pilsak)

It’s a safe bet that on May 13, 2011, people won’t be skipping through the streets chanting “TGIF.”  More than likely, they’ll be counting the hours until they can once again relax on May 14.  In fact, this time around they can relax for the rest of the year.  That’s
because there’s only one Friday the 13th during 2011. 

Why the big fuss, anyway?  No one really knows for sure.  However, interesting theories abound.

The first part of the term “friggatriskaidekaphobia” (fear of Friday the 13th) is the anglicized name of the ancient Norse goddess, Frigg.  Now Frigga was up there in the divine hierarchy.  Wikipedia describes her as “foremost among the goddesses.”  She and her husband, Odin, are said to have ruled Asgard (“capital city” of the Norse gods).  From their thrones, they looked out over the universe to see what was what.  However, Frigga would never tell what she saw coming.  That in itself is scary enough to link to a fear of Friday (otherwise known as “Frigg’s Day”).

When Christianity supplanted the ancient Norse religion, Frigg’s association with love and fertility was considered suspect.  She was accused of being an evil witch and allegedly banished to a mountaintop.  Friday has also been feared because of its link with the crucifixion of Jesus.

Tragic events from the history of Christianity are also linked with the number 13.  There were 13 present at
the Last Supper, Jesus and the 12 disciples.  Wikipedia also reports that the last 13 Knights Templar were
burned alive on a Friday the 13th .


Copyright May 13, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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