Every year, there are a few - the dreaded Friday the 13th dates - on the calendar. In 2023, we have only two - January 13 and October 13 (ooh, right in time for Halloween!)
Let's take a P'Niche peek as to how this day came to be considered unlucky (although take note, in France, may consider the 13th to be a day of good luck.)
Before we even get to the Friday aspect, let's note that many people consider 13 an unlucky number in general.
Judas, who was the 13th guest invited to be seated The Last Supper, is the one who betrayed Jesus Christ.
Not so great!
To this day, it is considered to be of bad luck to have 13 guests seated at a dinner table.
If you find yourself in that predicament, note that many people will add a teddy bear or doll to a 14th seat to make sure that the dinner will go according to plan.
Teddy Bear, party of 14, your table is ready!
Even in today's modern architecture and construction, the notion continues that the number 13 is a bad omen and is avoided when drawing up floor plans.
The 13th floor is "skipped," going from 12 to 14 instead - and you will often notice the lack of a 13th floor button on most elevators. Better safe than sorry...
Now, back to the dinner table...
Heading into Nordic mythology (I promise, we'll get to Paris and France) Odin, the God of War, hosted a large dinner for 11 of his closest deity friends - as one does.
A well rounded party of 12. What could possibly go wrong?
Oops, Odin neglected to invite Loki, the God of War and Evil (I mean, who would want them at their dinner table?)
Well, Loki, now (surprise) guest number 13, arrived to dinner, chaos ensued, and the world was plunged into darkness.
And you thought your family holiday dinner table was dramatic?!
Ok, but why Friday?
It could be many reasons, including:
Centuries ago, in Britain, Fridays were known as "Hangman's Day," where those condemned for crimes were hung to their death on that day of the week.
Biblically, and much like the number 13, Friday was considered unlucky for several reasons. Jesus was crucified on (Good) Friday.
Friday is also considered the day when Eve gave Adam the apple to eat, thus expelling them from Eden.
Further, Cain was said to have slain his brother, Abel, on a Friday the 13th - yikes!
Moving over to France, (told ya we'd get there...) Friday the 13th was an incredibly unlucky day for The Knights Templar.
These incredibly fierce knights were an order of devout Christians. Founded in Jerusalem after the First Crusade, their original goal was to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Of course, over time, they grew more and more powerful, and absurdly rich, until...
By order of King Philip the Fair, on March 13, 1307, over 2000 Knights Templar were arrested, jailed, and tortured into making false confessions - thus condemned to death, by burning at the stake.
One knight, Jacques de Molly, cursed the king from his stake. Fast forward to the king's 2 sons dying, leaving his family lineage with no heirs and moving the royal power to another family branch. Le Ouch!
We will definitely dig in more to learn about these fascinating chevaliers, The Knights Templar, so we hope that you will subscribe and join us back in the Parisian Niche.
Is it all doom and gloom on Friday the 13th? Not at all - hooray!
Many French consider this day to be quite lucky, and there is a considerable uptick of gaming each Friday the 13th, with many players calling the date a Jour de Chance. A Lucky Day.
Count P'Niche in for good luck!
"Lucky" enough to be celebrating Friday this 13th in Paris? You might want to check out the following "haunts:"
Les Catacombes, which we covered...
1, avenue du Colonel Henri Roi-Tanguy
16 Rue du Repos, 75020
Métro: Philippe Auguste
You could even take a spooky tour to get you in the mood. Tours I have taken before and enjoyed are:
Want to bring some good luck your way? Why not check out:
Right near La Sorbonne, you can find a statue of Michel de Montaigne. He sits cross legged, patiently awaiting students to approach. The myth is, if you rub the right foot of the statue and say “Salut Montaigne,” it brings luck during exams.
More good luck can be found at the (very Instagram worthy) Colonnes de Buren near the Palais Royal. You will want to head to where the underground fountain is located. You will notice that at the foot of the central pillar, people throw a coin, while making a wish. If the coin lands (and stays) on the pillar, the wish comes true!
What do you think, P'Nichers - are you thinking Friday the 13th is a not great date, or are you choosing to this, as many Parisians do, that this is a day of good fortune? Let us know in the comments below et à bientôt!