The number ‘13’ has always been surrounded by myths and beliefs. People belonging to different cultures and countries have distinct beliefs regarding this sole number ‘13’. For some people this number has marked to be the lucky one while for others it is the epitome of ‘bad luck’. But among most people if considered the ratio, the number 13 is believed to bring the worst luck. The history behind the myth of 13 to be the unluck one date back to the times of Romans who led lives believing that the number 13 was a symbol of destruction and death. Norse legends claimed that the thirteenth guest at a banquet is the spirit of evil. The belief of this number to bring bad luck among Christians is often said to come from ‘the Last Supper’ when Jesus Christ sat down with his 12 disciples making total 13 people. Another belief associated with the number 13 is that the first person to leave the dinner table of 13 diners will meet death before the end of the year.
- The thirteenth Apollo space mission was called Apollo 13. An accident happened involving Apollo 13 on 13 April 1970, two days after its take off at 13:13. There was an explosion on board and spacecraft began to leak oxygen.
- Puerto Rico, Florida and the Virgin Islands suffered disastrous damage on Friday dated, 13 September 1928, when a hurricane killed 2,000 people causing approximately $25 million in damage.
- There is no building in Paris bearing number 13.
- Italy omits the number 13 from its national lottery.
- Cancellations on trains and planes, reduced business activities and absenteeism from work on 13th of every month costs USA about $1 billion a year.
- For Mayans and Aztecs of Central America , the number 13 was considered to be 13.
- 13 is traditionally a lucky number in China.
- Buddhists pay homage to 13 Buddhas and the orthodox jewish prayerbook holds 13 principles of faith.
From these facts, this can be pointed out certainly, that beliefs and myths vary from place to place and people to people. The incidents, coincidents and accidents make a certain thing to be credited and given label of ‘lucky one’ or ‘bad luck’. The rest depends on the common sense of the people. If seen practically, number 13 is just a number, but what made it to be surrounded by the beliefs of varieties of luck actually made it a part of myth!