yogz80 asked in Education & ReferenceTrivia · 1 decade ago

Why is 13 an unlucky number?

i know 4 is unlucky in the east as when said it rhymes with death, i think it's Chinese.

31 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Thirteen is regarded as an unlucky number in many cultures. One (probably unverifiable) hypothesis holds that 13 is a reflection of the human fear of the unknown, since it is the first number that cannot be enumerated using our 10 fingers and 2 feet. Unreasoned fear of the number 13 is termed triskaidekaphobia. Due to this fear, some tall buildings have resorted to skipping the "thirteenth floor", either by numbering it "14" (though it's really still the thirteenth floor) or by designating the floor as "12a" or something similar. Similarly, some streets do not contain a house number 13. The thirteenth of a month is likewise ominous, particularly when it falls on a Friday (see Friday the 13th), a Tuesday in the Greek and Spanish-speaking world, or a Monday in Russia. Months with a Friday the 13th always begin on a Sunday.

    According to another interpretation, the number 13 is unlucky because it is the number of full moons in a year. Women living in a natural environment tend to have their period during a full moon. A woman typically has 13 periods in a year. In the past, a woman who "bled" during a full moon was seen as a witch. The fear of women's connection to the moon, as well as the association of the full moon with mental disorders has, according to this theory, caused the number to be seen as bad luck, and connected to supernatural forces.

    A small minority of left handers consider 13 to be their "lucky" number. This is possibly derived from "unlucky" being an antonym for "lucky". Since many left handers are taught to do the opposite when learning new skills from a right handed instructor, they consider 13 to be their "lucky" number as it is the opposite of 13 being the "unlucky" number.

    The number is also considered unlucky by some as it is the sum of 1+4+5+3, the year of the fall of Constantinople to the Turks, marking the end of the Byzantine Empire, though it may be considered lucky by Turks on the same basis.

    Amongst some Chinese people, it is regarded as a lucky number because it sounds similar to "實生", which means "must be alive". But this belief is not universal, or even known to all Chinese. Also, 13 is regarded as unlucky by those Chinese under the influence of foreign cultures.

    In the Persian culture, 13 is also considered an unlucky number. On the 13th day of the Persian new year (Norouz), people consider staying at home unlucky, and go outside for a picnic in order to ward off the bad luck.

    Modern-day witches have reclaimed the number 13 as a lucky and significant number. This may be similar to witches reclaiming other previously negative terms and ideas associated with witchcraft, such as black cats, brooms, and even the term witch itself.

    In the Sikh religion, the number 13 is considered a special number since 13 is tera in Punjabi, which also means "yours" (as in, "I am yours, O Lord"). When Guru Nanak Dev Ji had a job of counting stocks of items, he counted from 1 to 13 (in Punjabi) as one does normally, but after reaching the count of 13, he would just repeat "tera", since all items were in fact God's, as God created them. When somebody heard this while passing, Guru Nanak Dev Ji was confronted about this, and his records were checked. It was a miracle since they were all perfect, yet he never seemed to count the items properly.

    In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "What is six times nine" is posed as the question to the answer to life, the universe and everything (42). This is true in base 13, although this was merely coincidence according to author Douglas Adams. Similarly, the fact that the official numbering system for counties of Norway skips over "county number 13" is due not to superstition but historical accident.

    Legendary NBA superstar Wilt Chamberlain wore the number 13 on his jersey throughout his career. It signified that the number 13 was not unlucky for him, but unlucky for his opponents. Another legendary athlete who wore the number 13 was Dan Marino, who passed for more yards than any other quarterback in NFL history.

    In Asian cultures, the numbers '4' and '9' are often considered unlucky due to their resemblance to the words for 'death' and 'suffering'. But if these numbers are added together, they equal the traditionally unlucky number of the West, '13'.

  • zeitz
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Why Is 13 Unlucky

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


    Source(s): Numerology Life Paths http://renditl.info/NumerologySecrets
  • 1 decade ago


    The number 13 has been considered unlucky for a long time, and by people all over the world. The early Romans thought 13 was a sign of death and destruction. And according to Norse mythology, if you sat 13 people down at a table, that was very unlucky. (Why? At a banquet of 12 people in Valhalla, an intruder –number 13 – caused the death of Balder’s son Odin). The number of people at the last supper of Christ and the twelve Apostles confirmed the superstition about the number 13 in withes were believed to meet in “covens” that hat 13 members.

    The fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia. Many hotels have no room 13, and many buildings have no 13th floor. Next time you fly, see if there is a row 13 in the plane. As date, 13 isn’t too lucky either, especially when it falls on Friday. That was always thought of as a really bad day to start a new project or to begin a ship voyage. Movers, doctors and dentists say their business drops on Friday the 13th. The good news is that a maximum of three Friday the 13th can occur in a year, and sometimes there is just one.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Thirteen may be considered a "bad" number simply because it is one more than 12, which is a popularly used number in many cultures (due to it being a highly composite number). When a group of 13 objects is divided into two, three, four or six equal groups, there is always one leftover object.

    The number 13 also retains biblical meanings. At the Last Supper, Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th to sit at the table (also spilling the salt).

    It has also been linked to that fact that a lunisolar calendar must have 13 months in some years, while the solar Gregorian calendar and lunar Islamic calendar always have 12 months in a year.

    Triskaidekaphobia may have also affected the Vikings — it is believed that Loki in the Norse pantheon was the 13th god. This was later Christianised into saying that Satan was the 13th angel.

    The Mesopotamian Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1686 BC) omits 13 in its numbered list. This seems to indicate a superstition existed long before the Christian era.

  • 1 decade ago

    Currently 13 is considered to be an unlucky number. However, I am told it used to be--and in some earth-worshipping, i.e., pagan, religions still is--a lucky and magical number. Consequently there were 13 months and 13 zodiac signs (the Gemini twins had separate identities). Knowing how Christianity and other god-as-a-man-based religions were prone to say that what the pagans (Earth-and-god-as-a-woman) considered good was bad, I wonder if this was the case with the number 13. And why was 13 singled out of an infinity of numbers in the first place? Also, if the number 13 is so bad, why is it reflected so many times on the U.S. $1 bill-- 13 levels in the pyramid, 13 stars, 13 arrows, 13 stripes, 13 leaves, and 13 olives? Is it because of the original 13 colonies? --L.S. Thomas, Berkeley, California

  • ehc11
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    As Mike from Spain said there is the link to the Last Supper which 13 people attended and no. 13 betrayed Jeseus. Also the Knights Templar were massacred on Friday 13th which is the reason for Friday 13th being unlucky and could relate to the number 13 being unlucky too.

  • 4 years ago

    13 is not an unlucky number. Because all are our thoughts. If we think something stably, we will feel which was happen. So it also like that. All are good in the world. Because all are created by our God!

  • N!cky
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Many Christians have long believed that Friday was unlucky because it was the day of the week when Jesus was crucified. The number 13 was believed to bring bad luck because there were 13 people at The Last Supper. Since there were 12 tribes of Israel, that number was considered lucky.

  • 1 decade ago

    13 is not unlucky for everyone just for some people as well as other numbers.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago


    Why is 13 an unlucky number?

    i know 4 is unlucky in the east as when said it rhymes with death, i think it's Chinese.

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