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Superstition Around Number 13


Do you know the origin of superstition around the number 13? In Norse mythology, we find a legend on the subject.

Odin, chief of an Asian tribe, established his kingdom in Scandinavia. To administer it, celebrate religious rituals, and foretell the future, Odin would have chosen twelve sages, gathering them at a banquet at the Valhalla, abode of the gods. Loki, the god of fire, appeared uninvited and made a big fuss. Because he envied the radiant beauty of Balder, the sun god and son of Odin, caused Hodur, the blind god, to murder him by mistake. Hence came the belief that 13 people gathered for dinner is a misfortune.

This legend is similar to the episode of the Last Supper of Christ: According to some accounts, the twelve apostles and Christ, in a total of 13 people, participated in this sacred supper. Here too, the end was unfortunate: the crucifixion and death of Christ on a Friday. And more. In the old Hebrew numbering, the numbers were represented by letters. The letter indicating the number thirteen was the same as that used for the word death.