Triskaidekaphobia • Starter – • Try to make as many words of 3 letters or more out of this word. • Do you know what it means?
Learning objective: • To understand how and why the fear of Friday the 13th originated. • Triskaidekaphobia – is the fear of the number 13 but…
Paraskevidekatriaphobia or Friggatriskaidekaphobia… • is the term used for the specific fear of today – Friday the 13th! 5-6 million people are said to suffer from this in the UK! • Can you list other superstitions?
The Calendar • There is always at least one Friday the 13th in each year. • In some years there are two. Rarely there are three. • Most recently 1998 had three. The next such year will be 2009.
Count the letters in your name. • Jack the Ripper • Charles Manson • Ted Bundy • If you have 13 letters in your name you’ll have the devil’s luck. • Saddem Hussein = 13 letters.Captured on 13th December.
Origins of the superstition Primitive man (No actual proof for this though!) • Primitive man had only 10 fingers and 2 feet so could count no higher than 12. What came beyond that – 13 was an impenetrable mystery hence an object of superstition. • Persistent old instincts – even today we stop at 12 x 12 in school multiplication tables – for no real reason.
Christian Origins-Mostly Guesswork! • Thirteen is significant to Christians because it is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles). Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive. • Christians have traditionally been wary of Fridays because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. • Additionally, some theologians hold that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that the Great Flood began on a Friday.
Superstitions • Sailors were particularly superstitious in this regard, often refusing to ship out on a Friday. According to unverified legend (very likely untrue), the British Navy commissioned a ship in the 1800s called H.M.S. Friday, in order to quell the superstition. The navy selected the crew on a Friday, launched the ship on a Friday and even selected a man named James Friday as the ship's captain. Then, one Friday morning, the ship set off on its maiden voyage... and disappeared forever.
Apollo 13 – “Houston we’ve had a problem!” -Launched on Friday 13th Apollo’s 13th mission to the moon -Lift off was at 1313 hours CST -The explosion that crippled the spacecraft occurred on April 13. -The sum of the digits in the numeric launch date of 4-11-70 is 13 -The rocket was fired from launch pad 39, the third multiple of 13
Traditions • There are 13 witches in a coven • Tarot – number 13 is the card of death, meaning change • Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.
Old fashioned idea? Not really! • In many hotels and skyscrapers, there is no 13th floor.Most airplanes have no seat No. 13. In Italy, it is usual to leave out 13 in numbering the lottery tickets.Thirteen for dinner? Not in France. A party of thirteen can hire a professional quatorzieme, a fourteenth person, from an agency. In some big hospitals, there is no Operating Room 13, to spare the patient added anxiety being wheeled into Room 13.13 is the ideal number of people in a coven. It is believed that to left-handed people, 13 is their lucky number
Don’t panic! • Ultimately, the complex folklore of Friday the 13th doesn't have much to do with people's fears today. The fear has much more to do with personal experience. People learn at a young age that Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky, for whatever reason, and then they look for evidence that the legend is true. The evidence isn't hard to come by, of course. If you get in a car wreck on one Friday the 13th, lose your wallet, or even spill your coffee, that day will probably stay with you. But if you think about it, bad things, big and small, happen all the time. If you're looking for bad luck on Friday the 13th, you'll probably find it.
Fear Free? You may not take drastic safety precautions every Friday the 13th, but are you totally immune to the superstition? Given the choice, would you get married, start a new job or sign a contract on Friday the 13th? Most British people wouldn't, even though they don't put much stock in the idea. Superstition has a way of creeping up on people when they're in a particularly vulnerable state.
So you were brave enough to get out of bed this morning? • Task – • Design a web site home page for a company which helps people suffering from paraskevidekatriaphobia. • Include – Catchy company name, slogan and symbol. Reasons why clients might have this fear and ways they can overcome it. Remedies and advice.
Plenary • Has anything unlucky happened to you today (yet)?