2013? Now Who’s Superstitious?
Happy 2013! And, is it just me, or did anyone else feel a bit of a twinge saying that?
After all, in 1913, people would have been quite right to feel a little uncertain. Indeed, had they known that the following year they would be witnessing the First World War, they might well have decided to take to their beds on 1st January 1913 and stay there.
Which I guess if they had, then there wouldn’t have been a war as everybody would still have been in their pyjamas by 1914. So maybe superstition does have something to be said for it.
Fear of the number 13. Or as the Greeks call it: Triskaidekaphobia.
Certainly, the number 13 has a deeply-held significance in various religions. In Christianity, for instance, the number 13 is held to represent the number of people taking part in the Last Supper.
And, as a result, Friday 13th is treated with wariness in certain countries. I had a boss once, who though perfectly rational in every other way, would always refuse to fly on Friday 13th. It caused more than a little trouble when it came to me organising travel itineraries for him but at least it gave him peace of mind.
Had he been Spanish though, he wouldn’t have had that problem. When I worked in Majorca, for instance, Friday 13th passed without a murmur from my Catholic colleagues. On the other hand, when Tuesday 13th came around, all hell broke loose with much talk of spirits and ne’er-do-wells.
In Judaism, on the other hand, 13 is seen as a very auspicious number. It’s the age when a boy becomes a man. And at his barmitzvah there is much celebrating, cheering and sweet-throwing.
Of course, another way of looking at 2013, might be simply to adopt the Chinese point of view and just call it the Year of the Snake. A year traditionally associated with prosperity and peace. Sounds promising.
Or we could even adopt the Israeli calendar where they left the year 2013 behind thousands of years ago. There they’re already way ahead of the game in 5773.
I suspect though that 2013 will turn out to be just like most other years. Certainly, a bit less lacklustre after the spectacle of 2012 with all its Jubilee and Olympic pomp and magnificence. But, probably, just another year with tragedy and triumphs for some people, and an ample mixture of the good and not-so-good for the rest of us.
Oh, and a Royal baby thrown in. Hope you haven’t thrown away all your red-white-and-blue flags from last year yet. If so, it’ll certainly be a case of Cry Baby Bunting!
So will I be any more superstitious this year just because it’s 2013? No, not at all. Just pass me the salt and a black cat and I’ll be fine.
Happy 2013 everyone and don’t go stepping under any ladders.
Goodness, all this talk of snakes and ladders, bring it on 2013, I’m game!