Is Friday the 13th really that bad? It may be the day that everyone dreads, but what about the eventful things that have happened on this inauspicious date. Though its origins are murky, the number 13 still has ominous overtones, especially when it pops up on a Friday. In 2017, there happen to be two Friday the 13ths – January 13 and October 13. Here are some fun facts to take your mind off it.
- The Hollywood sign – which originally read HOLLYWOODLAND – was unveiled on Friday 13 July, 1923. It was built to advertise a housing development, but has since become one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions.
- Rapper Tupac Shakur died of his wounds on Friday September 13 1996, six days after being shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting.
- The fear of Friday the 13th is so haunting to so many people, it even has a name — paraskevidekatriaphobia. Afflicted folk describe themselves, according to the Macmillan Dictionary, as paraskevidekatriaphobes or paraskevidekatriaphobics. The doctor who coined the Greek word joked that when people figure out how to pronounce it, they will be cured.
- Despite these efforts, the number 13 continues to have an unlucky association today. Thirteen is so disliked that many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue, many high-rise buildings avoid having a 13th floor, some hospitals avoid labeling rooms with the number 13 and many airports will not have a gate 13.
- After every Friday 13th, comes a Saturday 14th, which can only mean one thing: the weekend is nearly upon us!