Myths and history of Friday the 13th

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Myths and history of Friday the 13th

Myths and history of Friday the 13th

Friday (Anglo-Saxon frīgedaeg; from Old High German Frīa,
a goddess; Old English daeg, “day”), English name of the
sixth day of the week. The day was held sacred to Venus, the
goddess of love, by the Romans, who called it dies veneris
(“day of Venus”). In the Romance languages the name of the
day is derived from the Latin, as in the French vendredi, the
Italian venerdì, and the Spanish viernes. Germanic peoples
held the day sacred to the Norse goddess of love, Frigg, or
Frija. The Germanic languages, like English, use variations of
the Old High German frīatag (“day of Frija”) to designate the
day. The Hebrew name for Friday, yom shishi, means “sixth
day.” Among many Slavic peoples, however, Friday is not
regarded as the sixth day of the week, as evidenced by its
Russian name, pyatneetza, or “fifth day.” Friday is the
Muslim Sabbath and is the day for religious gatherings. The
day was chosen by the Prophet Muhammad in
commemoration of the creation of man on the “sixth day” of
creation and to differentiate his followers from Christians
and Jews.
In the Christian religion the day is consecrated to the
memory of the crucifixion of Christ. The Greek theologian
Clement of Alexandria and other early writers indicate that
from the early days of Christianity, Friday was observed by
fasting and prayer. In the Greek Orthodox church, as was
formerly the practice in the Roman Catholic church, Friday is
a day of abstinence from the eating of meat, except when it
coincides with a major feast day, such as Christmas.
In Christianity, Friday has long been regarded as an unlucky
day. This superstition may be due to the occurrence of the
crucifixion of Christ on that day, and may have been
strengthened by the fact that Friday was for many years the
day of execution of criminals, commonly called “hangman’s
day.”

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