When it comes to bad luck, there are a few longstanding superstitions that we love to throw about in the UK – don't walk under a ladder, never break a mirror and keep away from black cats!

Up there with the age-old superstitions is the belief that Friday 13th brings bad luck.

There's even a name for those that are fearful of the day – paraskevidekatriaphobia.

Unfortunately for those with a fear of Friday 13th, it's more likely that the 13th falls on a Friday than any other day; this is due to the way our calendars work.

However this year there is only one Friday 13th in the calendar – Friday 13th August!

Where does Friday 13th come from?

Like all superstitions, this strange belief has evolved over centuries throughout culture – specifically western culture in this case.

Nonetheless, the fear of Friday 13th isn't a wholly European quirk – in Italy, it is Friday the 17th that is met with fear.

There's no obvious starting point for the superstition, but the day Friday and the number 13 have both been considered unlucky throughout history and across countries and cultures.

Norse mythology said that Loki, the god of mischief gate crashed a banquet in Valhalla, bringing the number of gods in attendance to 13.

Some experts believe this is where the fear of the number 13 was born.

It's thought the strange belief moved down through Europe and cemented itself in the bible when Jesus invited Judas – his betrayer – to be the 13th guest at the last supper.

The combination of Friday and the number 13 grew to mean misfortune during the Victorian era.

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