Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th – the dooms day on which Jesus Christ was crucified as per Christian mythology, is widely accepted by the masses as a day of misfortune and bad luck. This aversion for Friday the 13th is termed as triskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia. As per the data with Stress Management Centre and Phobia Institute, Asheville, North Carolina, approximately 17 to 21 million people suffer from this phobia in US. More surprising is that the fact that in US alone, $800 to $900 million business is lost in this single day. There lies another strange calculation that a month having Friday the 13th always start from a Sunday.
Many world known personalities like the President Franklin D Roosevelt, President Herbert Hoover and Napoleon publically confessed their phobia with Friday the 13th. The belief is so widely prevalent that several renowned hospital and hotels skip room number 13 and skip floor 13th altogether. The phobia gripped the former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the extent that he changed the number of his current residence from 13- Krishna Menon Marg to 6A- Krishna Menon Marg. After all the number 13 crippled his ministry twice, firstly when his ministry lasted for mere 13 days and secondly when his government fell down in 13 months’ duration.
Several unfortunate incident world over have strengthened this phobia of Friday the 13th. Few examples are as under:
- Friday 13th, November 1970: Bhola cyclone hits Bangladesh, kills 500000 people.
- Friday 13th, January 1989: ‘Friday the 13th’ virus infected IBM computers across US hitting the economy hard.
- Friday 13th, October 2006: A huge snowball fell on upscale New York taking many lives.
- Friday 13th, September 1940: Buckingham palace was hit by Nazis.
- Friday 13th, July 1951: Kansas flood, damage amounted to $935 million.
- Friday 13th, October 1972: Moscow air crash killing 174.
The list goes on and on. The British Medical Journal conducted a study and found that the number of road accidents exponentially increased on every Friday the 13th. Psychologists explained that it is the superstition of Friday the 13th which enhanced the victim’s perception of danger, thus making them more anxious and distracted and this could lead to accidents.
As per astronomical calculations, On Friday the 13th, 2029, Asteroid 99942 Apophis is expected to pass the earth at a dangerously close level. The countdown begins……!