Full moon makes this Friday the 13th more rare than usual


By Tim Schrag

By Tim Schrag

Special to The Telegram

(MCT) --Common to modern folklore are myths about Friday the 13th being the most unlucky day of the year and those who believe tend to be a bit more on edge.

This Friday the 13th, however, is even more unusual. Tonight happens to be a full moon as well.

Here are some unusual facts about the infamous date:

1. A very rare day: The next dual occurrence of Friday the 13th and a full moon won't occur until 2049. The last time this occurred was in 2000.

2. Contested origins: There is no record of Friday the 13th being known for bad luck until the 19th Century, but there are many theories about where it comes from ranging from Norse mythology to Christian teachings. Other theorist suggest the superstition comes from a combination of beliefs involving the number 13 and Friday both being unlucky.

3. Strange names: Since this is a phobia there are names for it. Friggatriskaidekaphobia, derived from the Norse goddess, Frigga wife of Odin the allfather. Paraskevidekatriaphobia, the Greek root for fear of Friday the 13th. Triskaidekaphobia, simply means fear of the number 13.

4. On any other day: In Spanish-speaking countries Tuesdays dated the 13th, not Fridays, are considered unlucky. In Italian culture Friday the 17th is considered unlucky.

5. Jason: The Paramount Picture's Slasher flick that launched a popular franchise "Friday the 13th," premiered on May 9, 1980. The franchise has 12 films including a crossover film with the popular "Nightmare on Elm Street" series.

6. Until next time: There can be as many as three Friday the 13ths in a single calendar year, such as in 2009 or 2012. The next year in which the day will occur three times is 2015. The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months.

7. Frequency: On average, there is a Friday the 13th once every 212.35 days.

8. Unlucky or not? The jury is still out: In 1993 a study, published in the British Medical Journal, compared hospital admissions for traffic accidents on a Friday the 13th with those on a Friday the 6th near London. Despite a lower traffic volume on the 13th than on the 6th, admissions for traffic accident victims increased 52 percent on the 13th. After conducting the study the author recommends individuals stay at home if possible.

9. Think about the mortgage: ABC News reports not only do home sales take a dive on Friday the 13th, any associations with the number 13 seems to harm selling a house. The door number 13 on average knocks approximately $10,000 off the value of a home.

10. FDR was superstitious: Franklin D. Roosevelt would not travel when the 13th fell on a Friday. Neither would President Herbert Hoover.

11. Well known folks: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Fidel Castro and Butch Cassady were all born on Friday The 13th. So were award-winning actors Christopher Plummer, Steve Buscemi and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

12. Stress out: According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina, about 17 million people fear Friday the 13th. Many may fall prey to the human mind's desire to associate thoughts and symbols with events.

13. Possible day to travel: It is estimated that it costs the American economy approximately $800- $900 million because people won't travel on the day.

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