Article by Jade Troll, Photograph by Cassandra Middles
Superstitions are not just for your 90 year old grandma. Even students at Hogwarts are superstitious about today, the unlucky Friday the 13th. What makes today so unlucky? Many cultures and myths have their own interpretations of the day. In fact I’m sure if you ask our very own Professor Venom about a few of the myths, she could probably make a lesson out of it!
In Christianity, Friday is said to be the day Eve gave the apple to Adam and caused them to be cast from the Garden of Eden, they are also said to have died on a Friday. The Temple of Solomon was destroyed on Friday, and Jesus was traditionally considered to have been crucified on a Friday- it‘s the day Christians refer to now as Good Friday. The name “Friday” was chosen in honor of the Norse goddess Frigg who is also known as Freyja; Freyja was known as the goddess of love, beauty, wisdom, war, death, and magic.
What makes the 13th so unlucky though? Well the speculation stems from several different myths. In Christianity, it’s unlucky to sit at a table with 13 people due to the myth that Judas was the 13th person to be seated at the Last Supper; when 13 sit to dine, the first to rise was the first to die.
In Norse Myth the tale is similar as 12 gods were dining when the God of Mischief, Loki, showed up uninvited. Hod, the blind god of winter and darkness, was convinced by Loki to murder Balder the Good with a spear of mistletoe. Valhalla was then sent into an era of mourning. 13 gods, 13 disciples, that’s about 13 reasons why I’m going to avoid the great hall with only 12 people inside!
With all this mythology surrounding the unlucky day, I asked Professor Venom if she believed in the myths or if she thought there was no truth in the day.
“I do not. Generally I do not believe een superstitions – magpies, perhaps, but not numbers. As I ‘ave said, auspicious and inauspicious numbers are cultural. We, as wizards, believe een the power of seven. The Greeks, Romans, and Norse believed een the power of three: three Fates, three Norns, three Hekatonchires, three Elder Cyclopes; and eets multiples: nine Muses, twelve Olympians, twelve gods and goddesses of the Aesir… The inauspiciousness of Friday the thirteenth ees usually attributed to Jesus and his apostles dining on Good Friday – thirteen dined together, and Judas betrayed Jesus.”
Stay inside kids- don’t go out alone, don’t walk under ladders, and whatever you do DO NOT dine with 13 students tonight. We all know anything can happen at Hogwarts! Bon chance!