It’s Friday 13th, probably the most cursed day within the calendar – allegedly – the place the whole lot is fated to head improper. But the place did we get the concept that it is a date when bad issues occur?
On a stroll via Birmingham town centre, everybody I ask has heard the perception that darkish forces are at paintings in this “dreaded day”. But do they imagine it?
Sitting on a bench in Victoria Square are couple John and Gillie Hemmer who say they have got “no qualms” concerning the date.
“My mum was actually born on Friday 13th,” says Mrs Hemmer. “She always thought it was a lucky day – and so do I.”
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Sitting within reach is Niall Johnstone who thinks the entire thought is a shaggy dog story. “It was put there as something else to worry about,” says the 26-year-old.
But within the shadow of the cathedral I discover a girl who says she does imagine within the perils of Friday 13th.
“It’s just a feeling,” says Aurora Marin, from Romania, as her sceptical partners forged their doubts.
The consensus in the street is that Ms Marin is within the minority.
But at the telephone, folklorist Anne Marie Lagram, from Shropshire, tells me she is a powerful believer.
“I always feel a bit wary when I’m out and about and will send a message to my daughter to be doubly careful on that day,” she says.
The origins of Friday 13th
Friday and the quantity 13 had been unfortunate in their very own proper, says Steve Roud, creator of The Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland.
“Because Friday was the day of the crucifixion, Fridays were always regarded as a day of penance and abstinence,” he says.
“This religious belief spilled over into a general dislike of starting anything – or doing anything important – on a Friday.”
Around the 1690s, an city legend started circulating that it was once unfortunate to have 13 other people round a desk or in a bunch, he says.
Mrs Lagram says theories in the back of “unlucky 13” come with the choice of other people provide on the Last Supper or the choice of witches to make a coven.
“The Victorians who were intrigued by folklore put Friday and 13 together and created a doubly unlucky day,” says the creator of the Country Wisdom and Folklore Diary.
Back at the bench, Mr and Mrs Hemmer can reel off masses extra superstitions, from black cats to ladders and cracks within the pavement. But the place do all of them come from?
“Superstition comes from a time when life was uncertain and you felt you didn’t have control,” says Mr Roud.
“There became a notion of fate as being something you could control by doing lucky things or avoiding doing unlucky things.”
Self-confessed believer Ms Marin and her pals, Georgian Diaconu and Alina Gheorghita, inform me examples of those rituals.
“If something bad is going to happen you just knock on wood for the thing to not happen to you,” says Mr Diaconu.
Ms Marin says she is terrified of black cats: “If I see one I go back three steps.”
Superstitions are discovered from folks and persist as a result of they’re as excellent as another technique in eventualities past our keep an eye on, says Michael Aitkin, psychology lecturer at Kings College London.
“Whatever action an individual is doing just before they experience something rewarding might become a superstitious behaviour, which is later repeated even if it is unrelated to the reward,” he says.
These non-public superstitions are commonplace amongst individuals who have unhealthy jobs or those who depart so much to probability, says Mr Roud. Indeed some footballers are slaves to ridiculous rituals.
Mrs Hemming says as soon as a fortunate or unfortunate perception will get into your head it is “very hard to un-know it” and extra of an effort to keep away from it than pass together with it.
“If you know it’s unlucky to walk on the cracks in the pavement and you’ve got an important interview that day you wouldn’t take a chance on it,” she says.
Many superstitions are to do with scary the order of the arena, says Mr Roud.
“Opening umbrellas indoors is unlucky and a spade or a wild bird in the house means death,” he says.
“It’s the same with shoes on the table – they belong on the floor.”
Some keep in our minds as they have got turn out to be a part of our language, says Mr Roud.
“Although I count myself as the least superstitious man in the country, I say ‘fingers crossed’ and ‘touch wood’,” he says.
Joan Carthy and Paulette Hall are sitting on a windowsill in Birmingham town centre ready to enter paintings.
“The only one I won’t do is walk under ladders,” says Ms Carthy. “It’s common sense, there’s always something going to fall on you. And knowing my luck it’d be a house brick,” she laughs.
“I’ve never had bad luck on Friday 13th,” says Ms Hall. “It’s just another day,” Ms Carthy replies.
And constructive Mr Johnstone says: “It’s Friday – you’ve got to love a Friday.”