Friday the 13th is today and you know what that means? History Lessons, yay!!!
I know, who wants to learn stuff on a Friday, the gateway to a drunken weekend? What makes today special is the fact that only one or two of it can exist in any given year. So if a month starts on a Sunday, you are most certainly guaranteed to have a Friday the 13th. If you’re the superstitious type, the day can signify psychological torture; all bad luck can and will coincide and mess you up.
Headed to the grocery store by foot? Don’t step on a crack or you will break your momma's back. See a black cat, avoid its path! Don’t even think twice about picking up ice-cubes with chopsticks, while walking under a ladder as you spill salt 'cause you will die! Kidding.
So where did this unlucky day come from, you wonder? The Crusades, if you guessed correctly!
Back in the day when the world was a scary place ruled by kings in Europe and Muslims and Christians were killing each other for hell of it, the Knights Templar, a clan of Christian knights who were that time’s Guardian Angels, acted as protectors of pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. The knights accumulated so much wealth from their body guarding duties that King Phillip, the King of France, who became indebted to them, decided to pull a fast one by executing them and stealing their loot. Phillip rounded up the knights and tortured them until they confessed to false crimes like sodomy and desecration of the cross, eventually murdering them on a Friday the 13th. "The Da Vinci Code" touched on that lightly. Anyhow, one knight's dying words to the king and the pope, as he was being burned alive, was a curse that both would die within a year, which they did. Scary.
Another theory about the origins of Friday the 13th comes from Scandinavia and involves Frigga, the Norse goddess of marriage. Friday is named after her. Friggas Day, ergo Friday.
As Christianity spread to Scandinavia, Frigga was banished to the mountains and eventually forgotten and replaced by Christ. Enraged, Frigga gathered 11 witches and the Devil and congregated on a Friday the 13th to wreak havoc on peoples lives.
Other than launching a string of bad movies, the story of Friday the 13th is pretty cool.
Above: painting of a Knight Templar being executed.