Just wanted to wish all my followers a very happy 2013.
Thirteen is traditionally thought of as an unlucky number, for example, many people dread Friday 13th as they fear something bad might happen on that day. Did you know that there is an actual phobia called "Triskaidekaphobia", meaning fear of the number 13? I've been having a bit of a read about the number 13, as we've now entered the 13th year of this century, and I've discovered some interesting things.
Oddly enough, More road accidents occur on Friday the 13th than on any other day of the year.
It has been estimated by various sources that U.S. businesses lose millions of dollars because of canceled appointments, absenteeism, etc. on Friday, the 13th.
The ancient Hebrews thought 13 was unlucky because the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter M, which is the first letter in the word "mavet," meaning death.
There is a superstition that if 13 people gather, one of them will die within a year. Some French aristocrats would hire themselves out as the fourteenth diner at an event, because it was believed that when thirteen diners sat together, one of them would die. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was quite fearful of the number 13, and he took great pains to avoid hosting a meal for a group of that size.
Scandanavians believed that the number 13 is unlucky due to the mythological 12 demigods being joined by a 13th evil one.
Eerily, 13 turns make a traditional hangman's noose. Anything less would not snap a neck...
A witches coven consists of 13 members.
Streets or housing estates in several countries skip house number 13 as the number is omitted completely.
Hotels will not have a floor 13 and skip from floor 12 to floor 14 due to the universal superstition of bad luck.
Vehicle License plates in the Republic of Ireland are such that the first two digits represent the year of registration of the vehicle (i.e. 11 is a 2011 registered car, 12 is 2012 and so on). The Irish Government last year were considering scraping the number 13 car registrations for cars sold this year, as they feared that it would put people off buying cars. They instead proposed that cars registered between January and the end of June will have a '131' registration. Those from July 1 to the end of the year should have '132' on the plate. I'm not sure whether this proposal finally went ahead, but it was certainly seriously considered.
In a tarot card deck, XIII is the card of Death, usually picturing the Pale horse with its rider.
In Formula One, the number 13 is not used. As such, the numbering goes 11, 12, 14, 15 under the current numbering system.
So, it appears that there is a lot of superstition surrounding the number 13. It's not all bad, though. In some cultures 13 is actually considered to be a lucky number. For example, in Italy. Some people even have 13 tattooed onto them to represent the lucky number. (Although in Campania the expression 'tredici' -- meaning 13 -- is said when one considers their luck to have turned for the worse.)
Several successful sports figures have worn the number 13. For example, basketball great Wilt Chamberlain wore the number 13 on his jersey throughout his NBA career.
In rugby league, each side has 13 players on the field at any given time.
In Judaism, 13 signifies the age at which a boy matures and becomes a Bar Mitzvah.
The number 13 in the Coperos religion (small culture in Brazil) is like a God number. All coperos must know that this number can save humankind.
American country-pop singer-songwriter Taylor Swift was born on December 13. She considers 13 her lucky number due to lucky events happening to her when the number appears (her first album going gold in 13 weeks, being seated at awards shows in the 13th seat, row or section). She also wears the number written on her hand at her concerts so she has it with her everywhere she goes.
So, it appears that people around the world cannot make up their minds about this number. It certainly is a number that has somehow captured people's imaginations.