TODAY is Friday 13, which is said to be the unluckiest day of all.
With 13 considered an unlucky number and Friday an unlucky day, the combination seems to be a bad omen.
It is unclear where the superstition originates, but it is thought to have first emerged in the Middle Ages.
Historians believe that it may have biblical origins as it was on what would have been a Friday that Eve bit into the apple that fell from the tree in the Garden of Eden.
There were also 13 present at the Last Supper, with Judas sitting in the 13th place.
Also, Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
Another possible explanation is that on October 13, 1307 the execution of the Knights Templar was ordered by the Pope and the King of France.
The Knights Templar was a Holy Order dedicated to protecting the treasures of the Church.
There are various other theories centred around the significance of the number 13 in different cultures.
In Norse mythology, legend has it that 12 gods sat down for a banquet but a 13th, Loki, arrived and murdered another god.
Hindus believe that it is bad luck for 13 people to gather together for any purpose at the same time.
Once today’s over and done with you don’t have to worry for a while – the next Friday 13 occurs in April.
But even so, incredibly positive things have happened on the supposedly ominous date. Take a look at these to ease your fears.
1. Prince Harry reached the South Pole – December 2013
Prince Harry and his Walking With The Wounded expedition-mates reached the South Pole on a Friday the 13th after a 200-mile trek.
The expedition was made up of people from the Commonwealth in teams.
Harry couldn’t have put it better himself, saying: “A half-day on Friday and we get to the South Pole on Friday 13th, unlucky for some, lucky for us.”
2. The Hollywood sign unveiled – July 1923
Way back in the 1920s, a housing company erected the now famous sign to celebrate a new housing development. The sign originally read Hollywoodland but lost the “land” part in 1949.
3. The accordion patented – January 1854
Anthony Foss patented the accordion on a Friday the 13th. How can we feel bad about a day on which this lovely instrument was given to the world?
4. Gender equality in employment enshrined in US law – October 1967
President Lyndon Johnson amended an Executive Order which said the government and Federal contractors could not discriminate based on race, religion, sex or national origin. Executive Order 11375 added sex to the list.
5. Super Mario Bros released – September 1985
Shigeru Miyamoto designed one of the world’s best-selling video games in 1985, featuring plumbing brothers Mario and Luigi. With 24 levels, the game was one of the biggest of its time and influenced many which followed it.
6. The Olympics returned home – August 2004
The 28th Olympics returned to its birthplace in 2004, and the opening ceremony took place on Friday the 13th.
The ceremony passed without a hitch and records were broken throughout the games. Michael Phelps won six gold medals and canoeist Birgit Fischer became the first athlete in any sport to win two medals in each of five Olympic Games.
7. Birth of a film legend – August 1899
Alfred Hitchcock was born in Essex on the day some consider unlucky. The famous film director went on to create Psycho, The Birds and Vertigo.
13 facts about Friday 13th
1) A fear of Friday 13 goes by two different names, friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia
2) Alfred Hitchcock, Fidel Castro and Margaret Thatcher were all born on a Friday 13
3) The cruise ship Costa Concordia sank on Friday January 13, 2012
4) Italy considers Friday 17 to be an unlucky day – and 13 is a lucky number there
5) Finland observes National Accident Day on one Friday 13 each year
6) Thomas W. Lawson’s 1907 novel Friday, the Thirteenth tells the story of a stockbroker who uses the superstition to cause a Wall Street crash
7) The famous Hollywood sign was unveiled on Friday July 13, 1923
8) Each year has between one and three Friday 13s
9) Apollo 13 is the only unsuccessful moon mission
10) A 1993 British Medical Journal study claimed that “the risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent” on Friday 13 – but later said their study was not meant to be taken too seriously
11) In the past five years, the FTSE 100 financial index has dropped on eight of the ten Friday 13s
12) Rapper Tupac Shakur died from gunshot wounds on Friday 13 1996
13) The 1972 Andes air disaster occurred on Friday October 13