Yup… it’s Friday the 13th again. Traditionally, most folks here in America consider this to be a day of bad luck. The franchise of horror films has capitalized upon this to the point of a frenzy matching Beatlemania. There’s nothing more bad luck than being stabbed to death by a zombie serial killer.
I, however, have a rather different interpretation of the date. One of my oldest friends and I had a tradition for years of celebration for Friday the 13th. I think we started it just to be a couple of contrarians. But, typical for me, I eventually found a rather academic rationalization to continue the practice.
Now, some folks claim that the tradition came about as a result of persecution of the Knights Templar by the Catholic Church in 1307. I’m sure that was a bad day for them. Being rounded up and slaughtered is not on most people list of top ten activities. But there are examples which pre-date that event, and it’s to those I have turned for justification of my world view.
On Friday the 13th of October 1066, the decision was made by King Harold II to go to battle on Saturday the 14th of October, rather than allow his troops a day of rest. This decision lost him the Battle of Hastings, before the battle even started. Total bad luck for him. But… Harold was a Saxon. You know… Germanic. I’m a Celt. For my clan, the Battle of Hastings was a sublime Norman (ie Celtic) victory. Pagans rule!!!
I love the number 13. There are 13 lunar cycles in the year (roughly). Thirteen periods of fertility for women. It’s the smallest number with eight letters which spell it’s name… 8 on it’s side is infinity. 13 players on a rugby team. There’s nothing sexier than a rugby player. The astronauts of the Apollo 13 mission survived their flight in a miraculous way. Julius Ceasar crossed the Rubicon on the 13th. I love the word Rubicon. And, most importantly, in Battlestar Galactica Earth is the 13th colony of Kobol. Yay earth!
So… to those who succumb to friggatriskaidekaphobia I say… frigg that! I frakking love Friday the 13th.