Friday, June 13, 2008

Paraskevidekatriaphobia and Sunday the 15th

This year marks a happy confluence of dates that occurs every 5, 6, or 11 years depending on leap years. My birthday and Father’s Day are both Sunday which means today is also a Friday the 13th.

Superstitions around Friday the 13th really only developed recently, in the late 1800’s, but theories on the origins go hundreds or even thousands of years. Some say it’s because the Knights Templar were slaughtered that day. Others say its origins are rooted in Christ. You can google it and find pages of theories, but a recent study showed it’s actually safer to drive on Friday the 13th.

Being a big fan of all things creepy, I enjoy the link between Friday the 13th and my birthday. Although, I suppose anyone born around the 13th could claim such a connection. (“Every time my birthday is on a Saturday there’s a Friday the 13th” my friend Tara could say.) Perhaps I just notice it more because of the Father’s Day connection.

As a kid, I always kind of liked it when my birthday was on Father’s Day. Somehow it made it all cooler that I got to celebrate the same day as my dad. I mean, if you have to share you birthday with a holiday, it might as well be one that only happens every so often and has something to do with the person partially responsible for your birth in the first place.

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.