The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

Rat Aquatics Initiative (Bacon)

2024 Fashion Forecast: SHEIN is In

May 15, 2024

Whitney Young’s Revolutionary Solution For Rat Squatters (Bacon)

Whitney Young’s Revolutionary Solution For Rat Squatters (Bacon)

May 9, 2024

The need for less strict security at Whitney Young (Bacon)

May 9, 2024

The Epidemic Sweeps Through the Classrooms of Whitney Young (Bacon)

The Epidemic Sweeps Through the Classrooms of Whitney Young (Bacon)

May 9, 2024

Foot Traffic Guide

Foot Traffic Guide

May 9, 2024

History of Friday the 13th

History of Friday the 13th
Creative Commons

If you’re reading this on release day, you’re probably aware that it is Friday. You are probably also vaguely aware that it is the 13th of October. It’s Friday the 13th.

Friday the 13th is a Western superstition that declares the day generally unlucky. However, it’s not clear where this superstition comes from — there are multiple potential sources and no one in America has learned it from any particular origin. It seems to, quite plainly, just exist. 

The number 13 is a solid place to start when investigating Friday the 13th. The number itself is highly unlucky, and most hotels will skip right over the 13th floor to avoid any risk. One of the earliest sources that 13’s doom can be traced to is Norse mythology, in a story where 12 gods have dinner together at Valhalla. They are later interrupted by Loki, an unwanted 13th guest, who tricks one of the gods into killing his brother. This is similar within Christian lore, when Jesus was betrayed by one of his apostles — who happened to be the 13th guest to arrive at the Last Supper. Additionally, the number 12 is generally regarded as feeling clean and complete — there are 12 zodiac signs, 12 in a dozen, etc. — and having 13 of something disrupts this. As for Friday being the associated day, that can also be traced to Christianity. After all, Jesus was crucified on a Friday; Eve may have also given Adam the apple on Friday, in addition to Cain potentially killing his brother on a Friday. 

However, before Christianity came into play, Friday the 13th was actually known as the Day of the Goddess. Old English called this the “Day of Frigg,” with Frigg being the Norse goddess of fertility and love; the word “Friday” came from her name. Additionally, in the Latin language, “Friday” is said as “dies Venerus,” meaning “Day of Venus,” who is the Roman goddess of beauty and love. As for the number 13, women typically have 13 cycles in a year (so does the moon, which is used as a symbol of femininity). Essentially, Friday the 13th used to be a celebration of the divine feminine and the cycles of life. Somewhere along the way (seemingly around the time the Bible was written), Friday the 13th transitioned from being a celebration of femininity to an ill-fated day you would be keen to avoid. (The patriarchy strikes again?)

That’s not to say that believing in Friday the 13th is inherent misogyny. Friday the 13th certainly holds some merit as an unlucky day of the year; this is when Buckingham Palace was bombed by Germany in 1940, when Tupac Shakur died in 1996, and when the United States declared a national emergency due to COVID-19 in 2020. Some people, usually modern pagans, continue to celebrate Friday the 13th as a day of femininity and rebirth, in addition to the horror fans who celebrate Friday the 13th as a day to enjoy their favorite films. I, for one, will be celebrating Friday the 13th with my cat, who has black fur and crosses my path at least 10 times a day.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ava Martin
Ava Martin, Editor in Chief

Comments (0)

All BEACON Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *