Friday 13th: The other days deemed unlucky around the world

Do you consider Friday 13th to be an unlucky date? (Picture: Getty)

Tread carefully, as you may have noticed it is Friday 13th, the date largely believed to be the unluckiest day of the year.

The superstition is held by many countries in the Western world, from the UK to the US, Canada and other parts of Europe – it has even formed the basis of a classic horror franchise.

While you’re unlikely to run into Jason Vorhees today, you may think twice when it comes to playing your EuroMillions numbers today, so as not to test your luck on the infamously unfortunate date.

But what are other dates deemed to be unlucky around the world, and why is it we fear Friday the 13th??

What other days are deemed to be unlucky around the world?

While much of the Western world may view Friday 13 as the most unlucky date, that is not the case for other parts of the world.

China: April 4

In China, April 4 is considered to be an unlucky day. This is because the Chinese word for the number four sounds eerily similar to the word for death.

April is, of course, the fourth month of the year, making April 4 a day to be wry of.

Such is the extent of the superstition, many hotel elevators in China do not have a button for the fourth floor, much in the same way some Western hotels omit a button for floor 13.

Spain and Greece: Tuesday 13

The fall of Constantinople in 1204 is said to have occurred on Tuesday, April 13 (Picture: Getty)

There’s that number 13 again!

Many Greeks have superstitions over the day Tuesday because their word for the day is Triti, which also means ‘third’ – and as the saying goes, bad things come in threes.

The fall of Constantinople is also thought to have taken place on Tuesday, April 13, 1204 in the Fourth Crusade, confirming that date as one to be feared.

Likewise, the day is considered bad luck due to its connection with the fall of Constantinople, which marked the end of the Byzantine Empire.

Martes, the Spanish word for Tuesday, also comes from the god of war, Mars, giving more reason to be suspicious of Tuesdays!

Italy: Friday 17

Over in Italy, it is Friday 17 that is largely regarded as the unluckiest date in the calendar.

The origin of this belief can be traced back to the writing of the number 17 in Roman numerals: XVII.

By shuffling the digits of the number, you can spell the word VIXI, which translates as ‘I have lived”, very much implying death, with many deeming the term to be a bad omen.

Japan: September 9

Similarly to China and April 4, September 9 is considered bad luck in Japan due to how the word for the number nine sounds in the language.

The Japanese word for nine – Kyū – sounds very similar to the word for torture or suffering, making the ninth day of the ninth month one to be cautious of.

India: August 8

Eight is the number of the Hindu god Shani (Picture: Getty)

In India, the number eight is regarded as an unlucky number.

This is because eight is the number of the Hindu god Shani, the god of karma, but also of breakups and strife,

That makes August 8, the eighth day of the eighth month of the year, a very inauspicious date in India.

Why is Friday 13th considered unlucky?

Jesus is said to have been betrayed on a Friday by his thirteenth disciple Judas (Picture: Getty)

While the exact origins have been lost to time, many believe the superstition started in the Middle Ages and is rooted in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is said to have been betrayed on a Friday by Judas, who is also thought to have been the 13th guest to sit down at the Last Supper.

That’s not the only association the number 13 has with bad dinner parties, as in Norse mythology, a banquet of the gods was ruined by its 13th guest – Loki the trickster – who caused the world to be plunged into darkness.

Friday also has its own history of being associated with bad luck. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, written in the 14th Century, he wrote ‘and on a Friday fell all this mischance’

In the UK, Friday was also once known as Hangman’s Day because it was usually the day when people were sent to the gallows to be hanged.

But Good Friday – the day of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion – is thought to be the only Friday in the year where bad luck doesn’t follow you.

If you’re born on Good Friday you’re thought to be lucky, while sailors would sometimes begin a long journey on Good Friday because of its holy connections.

Friday and the number 13 only began to be associated in the 19th century, with Henry Sutherland Edwards’ making mention of it in his biography of composer Gioachino Rossini.

He wrote: ‘He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, November 13 he passed away.’

Such is the level of superstition around Friday 13th, there is even an official name for the fear of it – paraskevidekatriaphobia – fancy trying your luck at pronouncing that?

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