Thirteen Has Not Always Been An Unlucky Number

Why is the lucky number 13 so unlucky?

I’ve always thought the number 13 was considered as one of the unlucky numbers, but no. The first recorded reference that the number 13 as unlucky was; back in 1852, when they tried to sit thirteen people down at the dinner table. It was just awkward. English-speaking cultures believed that the first person to rise from a table of 13 would be the first to die. So, you could imagine the stress after dinner, no one wanting to be the first to stand. 

"You first."
"No, no my good friend, you first."
"After you."
"No, no, age before beauty. You go."

There was a remedy for this. Everyone would stand at once, confusing their fates. Or, they would just simply have two tables, six at one and seven the other.

As we all know, the 13th floor is taken from high-rise buildings, renamed 12b.

Before 1852, in the 16th and 17th centuries “Witches Covens” were believed to have 13 members, that’s if you believed in witches, which most people did at the time, but it is not believed to be the origination of the superstition. This only happened in 1920 when Margaret Alice Murray a British anthropologist wrote about it. Her story became popular, but she had no hard data to back up her claims. 

There’s the legendary story of Odin, the Norse god when he threw a dinner party for 12 people. A giant named “Loki the Trickster” crashed the party making him number 13. He ended up killing one of the other guests, the god Balduro (Balder). But this theory has some discrepancies, since the party was held at the god, Aegir’s house, not at Odins’, and the number of guests were 18 not 12 including Loki

Then there’s the one we believe today, the number of guests at the Last Supper. Yes, that was a unlucky event agreed upon by many Christians and other believers throughout the world.

Could it be…

That the number 13 is just one too many numbers past the number 12, said to be the number of perfection, twelve months to a year, twelve signs of the zodiac.

All in all, I'd hate to see the corner bakery stop doling out their "Baker's Dozen." That lucky extra one which makes 13. It hits the spot.

Dog Brindle

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