Beware my readers it’s Tuesday the 13th…!! Wait a minute Rose, I know you are all thinking, don’t you mean Friday the 13th?! No my dear readers, I mean today, Tuesday the 13th or martes trece. In most Spanish speaking countries, Tuesday the 13th is considered an unlucky day not Friday the 13th. How curious, no?
We can understand the superstition behind thirteen as it is prevalent in the states too. Historically, thirteen is seen as an unlucky number mainly because twelve is seen as a complete number in numerology. There are twelve months, twelve hours, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles of Jesus, twelve successors of Muhammad and even twelve zodiac signs.!
In many countries, most buildings do not have a “thirteenth” floor so to speak. Even in Mexico, the hotels do not have any rooms or buildings with the number 13.! At first, I thought the hotels were just catering to Western superstitions until I learned about martes trece.! It’s definitely one of those moments when you experience some minor culture shock.
So why Tuesday..?? Friday is generally considered unlucky because Christ was crucified on a Friday. There are two different theories as to why in Spanish speaking countries, Tuesday is considered a bad luck day over Friday. The first theory postulates that Tuesday is tied to Mars, the Roman god of war. In many European languages with Latin origins, Tuesday is named after Mars. In Spanish, for example, martes is an evolution of the word Mars or Marte.
The other theory contends Tuesday is considered the unluckiest day of the week because Constantinople fell during the Fourth Crusade on April 13, 1204, a Tuesday. And then the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople on a Tuesday – May 29, 1453 to be exact..! These attacks further strengthened the idea that Tuesday, Mars’ day, was bad news.!
However, my dear readers, statistically speaking both of these days tend to be safer. People are a little more cautious, a little bit more paranoid, so there are less accidents and injuries reported. Now that we have all been duly informed, be careful out there.! Cuidado until we blog again…