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What Do Greeks Have Against Tuesday the 13th?

Tuesday the 13th
The fall of the capital of the Byzantine Empire on Tuesday, April 13, 1204, to the Fourth Crusade was a bleak day for Hellenism. Illustration: Greek Reporter

Like the Anglo-Saxons consider Friday the 13th a bad luck day, Greeks have branded Tuesday the 13th as a day you’d rather stay home and avoid everything that might cause an accident.

The main reason Tuesday the 13th is not a very popular day has to do with Christian Orthodoxy and is linked to the fall of Constantinople on that fateful date.

Byzantine empire falls on Tuesday the 13th

The fall of the capital of the Byzantine Empire on Tuesday, April 13, 1204 to the Fourth Crusade was a bleak day for Hellenism.

However, Tuesday May 29, 1453, was even worse, as Constantinople fell again, this time to the Ottoman Empire, followed by almost four hundred years of Ottoman rule across Greece and the subsequent loss of all Greek territories in Asia Minor.

Where does the thirteen come from on Tuesday, May 29? Just add the numbers of the year 1+4+5+3 for the full sum of 13.

However, there are other reasons Greeks disliked the number thirteen long before Constantinople and Byzantium.

Thirteen is a number that follows the perfection of the number twelve. In addition, the gods of Olympus were twelve, there are twelve months in a year, twelve hours in a day, twelve hours of the night, twelve labors of Hercules, and twelve signs of the zodiac.

Philip II of Macedonia offended the twelve gods and died right after he erected his statue next to the twelve gods.

As for Christian Greeks, the number twelve represents the number of the apostles who spread the word of Christ. Also, the 13th chapter of Revelation speaks of the coming of the Antichrist.

Finally, superstitious Greeks dislike Tuesday because, in Greek, Tuesday is Triti, meaning Third, the third day of the week. Since bad luck comes in threes, there’s not much to like about Triti, or Tuesday.

Furthermore, according to astrology, Tuesdays are dominated by Mars, the belligerent god of war.

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