Lucky Friday the 13th?

Ten years ago, a friend told me that she was no longer afraid of Friday the 13th; meaning the calendar date not the movies with lots of ketchup. She’d decided it would be a day of blessings. I was amazed, and worried she’d be cursed for saying it aloud. Once I thought about it, I realized she was right. We create our own luck, or misfortune.

One way to look at it is, get ready, Friday the 13th is not universal! In Greece, Spain and Latin America, it is Tuesday the 13th that’s unlucky. Tuesday is Martes in Spanish, named for the Greek god of war called Marte.

Year 2021, the 13ths Image: Mac Calendar App

As the saying goes, “El martes 13, ni te cases ni en embarques”. “On Tuesday the 13th, don’t get married or set off on a trip…” For some folks in Spanish-speaking countries, this is taken to an extreme. They’ll tell you Tuesday the 13th: “Don’t cut your hair, or think about trimming your nails.”

Well, to a person from the US, that sounds like over the top superstition. Perhaps, until we remember how many buildings, for example in New York and Chicago, have no 13th floor. A 30-story building has one, of course, but it’s named 14. Seems we live in glass houses, or high rises. No one knows how this tradition about 13s started, even CNN was not able to dig up the story…

In 2021, we’ve already lived through two 13ths; Tuesday, April 13th and Tuesday, July 13th. Did all the hair salons open during Covid close that day in Spain? Did everyone with a chipped nail just limp along until the 14th? This year, we have just one Friday the 13th, today. Will it be lucky or unlucky? What do you say?

How do you feel about today’s date? What is the tradition where you live? Leave a comment below, dear readers. Love hearing your views.

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco. ¡Olé! –Rebecca

(Revised from a post from September 13, 2019)

Friday, August 13th Image: Mac Calendar App
Rebecca Cuningham

28 thoughts on “Lucky Friday the 13th?

  1. At least from what I’ve seen in the Western world, there are no 13th floors in any building I’ve entered: it’s always an incongruity whenever the elevator goes from the 12th to 14th floor! It’s funny you mentioned not trimming your nails on the 13th, because I was thinking about cutting my nails today (granted, it’s a Friday and not a Tuesday…), but I think I’ll hold off until the next day! XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your observation, Rebecca. That’s one ingrained building tradition! Played it safe with the nails. : ) In talking with a friend today, she said that 13 is lucky in Jewish tradition. There are 13 Attributes of Mercy, Jacob had 13 children, and the are 13 Principles of Faith.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Rebecca ! In Japan, some people say Friday 13th is bad somehow as superstitions, but not bad as in the U.S. I believe. My Japanse mom always says “today is Friday 13th!” with excitement, because she loves movie “Friday 13th” (she is a basically horror movie junky lol). That’s why13th on Friday is always reminds me of Jason … XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Hiro for the interesting cultural information about Japan. Sounds like Friday the 13th is positive for your Japanese mom because of her deep love for the horror genre, the Friday 13th movies in particular! Ha!


    1. Thanks, Ju-Lyn. I really appreciate the cultural information you shared. The word four in Chinese sounds like the word death, that would make it unpopular! Does that make the fourth day of every month feel unlucky? Are there traditional ways to protect oneself from the bad luck? Thanks!


      1. Loving Husband says that sometimes buildings don’t have a 4th floor, or apartment numbering may skip the #4, and we don’t give “red packets” of monetary gifts in amounts with 4 in it (eg.$4, $40, $400).

        Regarding weddings: if they are traditionally Chinese, they would consult a fengshui master to get an auspicious date, as opposed to pick and choose dates on their own.

        This is all rather foreign to me as my family is not traditional at all, although we have some Chinese connections.

        Liked by 1 person

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