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Friday 13th


We have all seen the films and heard of Friday 13th being unlucky, but where did it all begin?

Friday 13th has been seen as an unlucky day in many cultures and societies for centuries. There are numerous beliefs as to why this is. Friday is viewed as an unlucky day in many societies and there are numerous different ideas behind this belief for example, in Christianity, Christ was crucified on a Friday others believe it stems from the 14th century The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer, in which Friday is referred to as an unlucky day: “And on a Friday fell all this mischance”

The number 13 is almost universally seen as an unlucky number. It is generally thought this stems from numerology and its link with religion. The number 12 recurs time and time again in many religions of the world as it is seen in numerology as the number of divine organisation or chronological completeness. This can be seen in the 12 months of the year, 12 numbers on a daily clock, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles , 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam and 12 signs of the Zodiac. The number 12 represented order and belief for many people in the past. The number 13 however is seen as irregular and transgressing this order. It was seen as unlucky that there were 13 people at the Last Supper and also in Norse Mythology it was said that if 13 people sat together at a table it would result in the death of one of the diners.

The first example of the Friday 13th superstition appears in the history of the Knights Templar popularised recently in Dan Brown’s 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code. It’s said that on Friday 13th of October 1307, hundreds of members of the Knights Templar were arrested in France by the forces of Phillip VI .

The first written example of the Friday 13th superstition appears in Henry Sutherland Edward’s 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, the famous Italian operatic composer. Rossini believed that Friday was an unlucky day and that 13 was the unluckiest of numbers and he died on Friday 13th of November 1868. Sutherland writes: “He 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 one Friday 13th of November he died ..”

Whether you suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia (the fear of Friday 13th), you are just a superstitious person or not at all, it appears Friday 13th won’t be going away anytime soon.

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The stories begin with Trinity College where we transport you back some 600 years ago to when the old Augustinian Priory and of course the plague house were there. The latter of which the guide is all too familiar with…But just ignore the coughing and listen to his tales! Many believed that this was the end of days, but the history of Dublin and its horrors continued…