Many in the West consider thirteen to be an unlucky number but there’s evidence to suggest 13 is in fact lucky. 2013 will be a lucky year.
A number of people I know deserve much better fortune and I feel our world as a whole could do with a bit of a lift. So here I offer 13 random examples designed to inspire and illuminate us as we approach 2013. I apologise for any factual inaccuracies, this is a bit of trivia inspired by a dear friend because we’re aiming to cast off pesky Triskaidekaphobia together and will attempt to do it for anyone else who’d like better luck in future too!
1. The Thirteenth century was very productive for the Italian city of Florence.
Its prosperity and peace enabled rapid economic expansion which continued at pace. Various categories of tradesmen and craftspeople increased extensively going beyond their region to other areas.
2. Thirteen is a prime number suggesting an incorruptible nature, purity and integrity.
3. Improv Everywhere organise fun missions to entertain participants, onlookers and those who watch their videos.
The No Pants Subway Ride takes place on January 13th 2013 in New York and has spread to other cities too. Participants wear winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves but no pants. The aim is to bring excitement to an otherwise humdrum setting, make people laugh, smile, or stop and notice the world around them. Seeing this would certainly make me smile and spice up an otherwise boring subway ride 🙂
4. The thirteenth tarot card signifies death and eternal life. The thirteenth rune ‘Eiwaz’ was the central rune around which all the others were ordered in the oldest runic alphabet.
5. When Chinese women make offerings of moon cakes, 13 will be served. Thirteen is the number of blood, fertility and lunar potency, the lucky number of the Great Goddess.
6. Thirteen was revered by the ancient Egyptians who believed life had 13 stages, the last of which was death and transition to eternal life.
7. For those seeking to purchase a property in the UK, number 13 is likely to be £6,511, or 3%, cheaper than numbers 1 -12 or 14 – 30 based on Land Registry figures!
8. Thirteen is considered lucky in China where 1 in the position of tens sounds like ‘definite’ (shi or 实) in Mandarin and Cantonese dialects. 3 sounds like life, living or birth (生) so 13 pronounced shisan in Mandarin can mean ‘definitely vibrant’
9. In the Jewish religion 13 is the numerical value of the word ahava (love, Alef-Hei-Beit-Hei) and the age of responsibility. Jewish beliefs are contained in the Thirteen Principles.
10. The Great Seal of the United States has 13 olive leaves, 13 olives, 13 arrows and 13 stars forming a triangle over the eagle. The pyramid on the reverse has 13 levels.
11. The traditional Thai New Year – Songkran Day – is April 13th.
12. Lohri, the zenith of winter is celebrated on 13th January. For Punjabis it’s a community celebration of fertility and the spark of life, an auspicious day marking the sun’s entry in to the ‘Makar Rashi’ (northern hemisphere).
13. Jeremy Guscott, Brian O’Driscoll and Frank Bunce are deemed some of the world’s greatest outside centres – position 13 – in rugby union.