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.
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)