It’s the first Friday 13th of the year – but what makes this date so spooky?
The history of Friday 13th is rooted in several other ancient superstitions, about the day Friday and the number 13. Putting the two together creates an extra superstitious day!
There are stories from Christian traditions, Nordic folklore, Roman beliefs and corporal punishment that all combine to create the fear of Friday 13th.
For example, in biblical references, Judas was the 13th disciple and Jesus died on a Friday. In ancient Rome, witches would meet in groups of 12, and if a 13th joined they were believed to be the devil. Friday was supposed to be the consensual day for hanging in Britain, and there were usually 13 steps leading to the noose. And in Norse myth there were 12 gods having a party in Valhalla, when in walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Loki arranged for the blind god of darkness, Hoder, to shoot Balder, the god of joy and gladness. When this happened, the whole earth went dark and mourned the loss of the beautiful Balder.
So, it’s no wonder with all these bad things associated with the day and number that Friday 13th is such a suspicious date!
History and mythology is a fascinating subject, and there are some great titles in the Boolino library that are perfect for reluctant readers. Why not have a look at some of our recommended reads, and see if you can spark a new love of myths and legends with your children!