One of the most hallowed — and haunted — days of the year has arrived. To celebrate the uncanny, the odd, and things that go bump in the night, Twitter users are gathering their spookiest tweets together for Friday the 13th.
For a variety of reasons, many superstitious folks consider the number after 12 to be particularly unpleasant. They will avoid 13th floors, 13th rooms, and 13th rows in public places to fend off an unlucky fate (a fear which is actually called triskaidekaphobia). Friday the 13th, however, amplifies this anxiety 13-fold.
Jesus was crucified on a Friday, so Christians in particular aren't fond of this day of the week, and 13 is a number associated with the Death card in the tarot, and there were supposedly 13 steps to the gallows and 13 coils in a hangman's noose back when public executions were prominent. (The list of unlucky links to the number 13 is long.)
However, some might be surprised to find out that the origins of Friday the 13th are actually quite feminist. Not only is Friday associated with goddesses around the world like the Hindu mother goddess Durga and Yoruba goddess of water and sensuality, Oshun, but the English word itself derives from the "day of Frige," who was an Anglo-Saxon pagan goddess of fertility. Add this to the fact that many women have approximately 13 menstrual cycles a year and the moon has approximately 13 cycles as well, and you have a very feminist day that, of course, the patriarchal powers had to ruin.
Here's how Twitter is celebrating Friday the 13th: