Friday the 13th has long been considered by many Western countries as a day of bad luck. In 2017, there will have been two of them — January 13 and October 13! However, many countries worldwide have their own superstitions about numbers and dates that are definitely as fear-inducing. Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back, never pass a black cat, don’t have a phone number with a series of 8s….
After learning about these superstitions, you’ll know why you can’t take a trip to the fourth floor in some buildings in China. You will probably want to be accompanied by an egg if you’re sitting with a party of 13 in France. You may even find yourself treating Tuesday the 13th with just as much caution.
The number 39 is thought to be cursed in much of Afghanistan due to the way it sounds. The pronunciation of the number is too similar to the word morda-gow, which means “dead cow” in the Dari language and is also an offensive slang term for a pimp. People tend to avoid the cursed number if they can. Afghanis also follow an interesting custom any time someone drops bread.
The number 8 is considered to be cursed in Bulgaria. The jinx was born after a series of people who held the phone number 0888-888-888 died tragically. Reportedly, the original owner of the number died of a suspicious cancer (possibly from radiation poisoning); after that, it was owned by an organized crime boss who was murdered and then by a business man who was shot. The number has since been suspended.
The number 4 is thought to be extremely unlucky in China, to the point where buildings will not have a fourth floor. That is because the word for the number sounds too similar to the Chinese word for “death.
Many years ago in the England, it was reported that babies born on Friday the 13th were laid on the family bible. In Somerset the phrase, “whoever turns a bed on a Friday turns ships at sea” is commonly used on this day as a warning regarding the manifestation of bad dreams. A notably scary Friday the 13th occurrence happened on Friday, September 13, 1940, when Buckingham Palace was hit by five German bombs, nearly killing King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
Much like many Western countries, the French regard Friday the 13th as a day of bad luck. They also dislike the number 13 in general. They dislike it so much that they believe sitting 13 to a table invites bad luck their way. It is not uncommon to find French waiters or hosts adding an egg to such tables as a 14th guest. Whether you dine with a large party or alone, you must try these 9 foods when you travel to France.
The Greeks consider Tuesday the 13th to be a day of misfortune for historical reasons. In Greek history, Tuesday, April 12, 1204 was the day Constantinople fell for the first time. It fell again on a Tuesday, May 29, but in the year 1453. If you add 1,4,5, and 3 you get…13
The number 8 is thought to be unlucky in India because it is the number of the deity Shani, who is considered the bringer of bad luck. He is also closely linked with the planet Saturn and the basis for Shanivara, one of the days of the week on the Hindu calendar that corresponds with the Western idea of Saturday.
Surprisingly the Italian day of bad luck falls on Friday the 17th! Those who live in the boot-shaped country feel that the Roman number XVII can be rearranged as the word, “vixi” which in Latin means, “my life is over.” Don't wait until your life is over before trying the 15 best pizza places in Italy.
Mexicans also believe that it is Tuesday the 13th, not Friday the 13th, that is the day of bad luck. On Martes trece people will not conduct business, will cancel wedding plans, and will even stay inside until the day ends. The idea that this day brings bad luck has been traced back to the Last Supper, at which Judas was the 13th guest.
In Russia, even numbers are considered unlucky. It is never considered appropriate to give an even number of any sort of gift in this country. Even bouquets of flowers must be given in odd number amounts.
In the U.S., Friday the 13th is commonly a day for superstition. People avoid getting married or signing contracts; some have even rescheduled C-sections to avoid this day. Technology has been known to fail and notorious murders have occurred on this cursed day — most notably, the murder of rap legend Tupac Shakur. As reported by Elite Daily, apparently $900 million in productivity is lost every Friday the 13th because people are too afraid to work or travel on this day.
The number 7 is unlucky in Vietnam and most countries with Chinese influences. The seventh month of the traditional calendar is considered “Ghost Month” — an entire month where people pay reverence to the spirits. That means anything connected to the number 7 is reminiscent of death or haunting. Love being spooked? If you aren’t afraid of numbers, we bet you’re also willing to visit the 10 most haunted places in the world.