Friday the 13th and National Frog Jumping Day


Friday the 13th may conjure up scary images from horror movies for some (Graphic by NEW Creations)

Today is Friday, May 13th, which sends shudders up the spines of the superstitious. Today also happens to be National Frog Jumping Day, which celebrates Mark Twain's famous short story about gambling Jim Smiley, his fast frog, and a frog race that didn't end as Smiley thought it would.

Friday the 13th is familiar superstitious to many. It only happens at least once yearly but can also happen up to three times in one year. In 2022 there will only be the one and only occurrence of Friday the 13th. The months with Friday the 13th all begin with a Sunday.

Donald Dossey, a folklore historian, states that the history of the unluckiness of the number 13 is from a Norse myth. In the myth mischievous god Loki arrives (uninvited of course) as the 13th guest to a dinner party. This led to one blind Norse god (Höðr) to shoot another (Balder) with a "mistletoe-tipped arrow", which led to his death and was considered a harbinger of Ragnarök, according to Wikipedia.

A book published in 1907 by T. W. Lawson called Friday, the Thirteenth, might also have something to do with how many currently feel about days like today. The book has an interesting and timely subject as well: an "unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th." 

Other events tied to the tradition of 13 being considered unlucky include the last supper and crucifixion of Jesus Christ due to 13 people being present and another occurrence of the number 13. 

National Frog Jumping Day on the other hand should be a day for celebrating the silly and improbable much as Mark Twain did often in his writing. Today maybe do a little jump or even race a frog to celebrate the holiday instead of jumping in fright because of old superstitious about numbers.

We at Middle Georgia Times wish you a very happy National Frog Jumping Day and hope your Friday the 13th isn't too frightening.

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