The Colour of Superstition – Black Friday

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller
happy friday the 13th vector illustration
Illustration of Happy superstition, Friday with a businessman walking passed under the ladder and black cat behind

If you are superstitious, then today is the day you’ll be watching your every move from keeping your fingers crossed, knocking on wood to avoiding crossing paths with a black cat.

And there’s even a name for those with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th – it’s friggatriskaidekaphobics. No, I don’t know how to pronounce it either!

Friday 13th also known as Black Friday (in most western cultures) is considered the day of bad luck.

Why Black Friday?

When it comes to the negative psychological qualities of black, it’s not hard to see why it’s called Black Friday.  Black can be seen as intimidating, spooky and scary.  It is often seen as sinister and menacing, instilling fear; of the dark, death and the unknown.

Origins of Black Friday

The exact origins as to why aren’t exactly clear, but there are a couple of popular theories linked to this superstition. According to biblical sources, Friday 13th was the day Eve offered Adam the forbidden fruit and the day Jesus was crucified.

Another theory is the downfall of the Knights Templar. The members of this monastic military order were arrested and by France’s King Philip IV at dawn on Friday October 13, 1307 to subjected to gruesome tactics of medieval style ‘interrogation’.

Modern day Black Friday

Black Friday and superstitions isn’t to be confused by what retailers in the US now term Black Friday. This is the shopping day after Thanksgiving – one of the biggest sales days of the year.

There is a debate as to how the name originated. One theory is because the traffic was so heavy it looked ‘black’. The other theory is where many retailers hope to start showing a profit. Interestingly, profit is marked in black ink, hence the phrase ‘in the black’.

Are you superstitious? Anything you’ll be avoiding today?

Wishing you a colourful day,

Stat source

First written 13th September 2013. Updated 13th January 2023. Republished 13th October 2023.

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1 Comment

  1. Diane on September 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    As I’m born on the 13th, I always assume that it reverses out the luck – so Friday the 13th is actually lucky for me! 😉

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