Friday the 13th Superstitions; There’s an App for That!By: Kristen M. Foster - September 13, 2013
Did you know that this is your first chance at a Friday the 13th in 2013? We will have two this year, the next in December. Last year the odds were in the infamous day’s favor, with three occurrences landing in 2012.
Your Smartphone has you covered though for all the apps you might require on this most fearful of days.
The Superstitions app will feed you all the superstitions you could desire just by clicking, “Another Superstition!” It is Free for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch.
After brushing up on your superstition knowledge, grab the Superstitions & Magic Trivia Quiz and answer multiple-choice questions either solo or with your friends (or your favorite Great Aunt who is always warning you about tingling ears or itchy palms). It is $0.99 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch.
And to make sure Friday the 13th doesn’t sneak up on you again, there’s the irreplaceable (except by your calendar) Friday 13th app, which promises to count you down until the next. If your calendar needs a backup, this one is $0.99 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch.
My favorite find however is the Touche du bois! app—that is French for “Knock on Wood,” extract minds from gutters. Though the app seems to only be available in French, you can pick which wood you would like to knock on and it saves you from carrying around that pesky block of pine in your purse. It is Free for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch.
So what is it about this day that makes us so wary? According to a National Geographic feature, it is deep-seated in Western culture. And, the experts say, once the seeds are planted in a culture, or even in a family, “we tend to honor them… You feel like if you are going to ignore it, you are tempting fate,” explains Thomas Gilovich, a professor of psychology at Cornell University.
The feature ties many of the traditions around the day Friday—the day on which Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified, previously known as hangman’s day—and the numeral 13—the number of guests at the Last Supper, Judas having been called the 13th guest—to the Bible. But, the feature further explains that other cultures tend to adopt these taboo dates because of the principle that if an object resembles something with a negative connotation, that object—for example, the numeral 13—and those objects associated with it are considered related and therefore adopt the negative traits of the original. Example: 13 attendees at the Last Supper renders 13 unlucky in any case.
For those of us who would imagine a little superstition about an occasional date has little impact on our daily lives, consider this statistic from Donald Dossey, a folklore historian and founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. He says, “It’s been estimated that [US] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they normally would do.”
If you are willing to trade centuries of tradition for optimum airplane seating, then Friday the 13th might be your day to fly. I’ll bring my Touch du bois! app.[Image via iTunes.]