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Black Friday and black cat

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‘Unlucky’ 13

Many think that the reason for the number 13’s bad luck comes from the Bible.

Judas, who betrayed Jesus, is thought to have been the 13th guest to sit down to the Last Supper.

Even today, it’s considered unlucky to have 13 people sitting at a dinner table, and some people pop a teddy bear in a seat to make the number of guests up to 14!

In Norse mythology, a dinner party of the gods was ruined by the 13th guest called Loki, who caused the world to be plunged into darkness.

It seems the superstition has stuck.

Some hotels will have no room 13, while a lot of tall buildings ‘don’t have’ a 13th floor, jumping straight from 12 to 14.

Some airlines also refuse to have a row 13 in their planes too.

‘Unlucky’ Friday

For hundreds of years, Friday has been considered the unluckiest day of the week. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s famous Canterbury Tales, written in the 14th Century, he says “and on a Friday fell all this mischance”.

In Britain, Friday was once known as Hangman’s Day because it was usually when people who had been condemned to death would be hanged.

But Good Friday – the day of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion – is thought to be the only Friday that bucks the trend, hence its name.

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

The Thirteen Club

In the late-19th century, a New Yorker named Captain William Fowler (1827-1897) sought to remove the enduring stigma surrounding the number 13—and particularly the unwritten rule about not having 13 guests at a dinner table—by founding an exclusive society called the Thirteen Club.

The group dined regularly on the 13th day of the month in room 13 of the Knickerbocker Cottage, a popular watering hole Fowler owned from 1863 to 1883. Before sitting down for a 13-course dinner, members would pass beneath a ladder and a banner reading “Morituri te Salutamus,” Latin for “Those of us who are about to die salute you.”

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