Today is Friday the 13th, in case you weren’t aware. Apart from the fact that many people avoid black cats and mirrors today, Friday the 13th has also been a massive inspiration in pop culture. We are not just talking about the horror classic of the same name. In pop culture, the number 13 has a significant meaning. Whether it is the death of a famous rapper to everybody’s favourite mischievous god Loki, 13 is a big deal. So unless you have friggatriskaidekaphobia, take a seat and see what the big deal is of Friday and the 13th.
The death of Tupac Shakur
Tupac Shakur was one of the most famous and influential rappers to ever have walked the planet. Many rappers today still cite him as one of their biggest influences. The rapper was shot several times on April 7th, 1996. A few days later, on April 13th, he died. It was a Friday. It is probably a coincidence, but a creepy one at that.
After the successful launches of Apollo 11 and Apollo 12, Apollo 13 was supposed to land safely on the moon as well. Únfortunately, a gas tank exploded. While Apollo 13 safely came back to Earth, it never reached the moon. Only the ominous number 13 had this much bad luck. The almost-disaster was made into a film starring Tom Hanks.
The Last Supper
The fear of Friday the 13th comes from Christianity. They feared both 13 and Friday separately. The number thirteen is significant, because that was the amount of people present at the last supper. Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member to arrive. This superstition comes back in a lot of pop culture. Lady Gaga famously wrote the song Judas. In the Harry Potter books, there is a scene during Christmas when Harry stays over at Hogwarts. There are thirteen people present at the Christmas dinner. When Dumbledore is the first to rise, Trelawney gasps in horror and explains the significance. We all know how it ended for Dumbledore.
Apart from that, Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Makes sense that Christians don’t thank God it is Friday.
Loki the uninvited guest
Norse Mythology also shows traces back to fear of 13. There is a myth about twelve gods having a dinner party at Valhalla. In comes Loki, the uninvited and unwanted guest. Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with an arrow. The world went dark and everybody mourned. Which is why the number 13 is considered ominous and foreboding.
The Thirteen Club
In the 1880s, the Thirteen Club was created to show that the superstition of 13 at a table is unlucky, was bullshit. In 1887, the Thirteen Club had 400 members, including Theodore Roosevelt. It all refers back to the myth of our dear Loki. I wonder what kind of dinner parties they had, but perhaps they just needed a funky reason to start a club. Who can blame them?
These are just some of the pop culture phenomena surrounding Friday the 13th. Are you superstitious? Let us know in the comments!