Paraskevidekatriaphobia, or fear of Friday 13th, is probably the most widespread superstition in Western countries.
But is it mere superstition? I always used to think so. But what is really interesting is that a study conducted by the British Medical Journal shows there is very good reason to stay at home on a day like today:
"The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52%. Staying at home is recommended."
Sufferers of Triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13, are also worried today of course.
And like in the West, there are plenty of sufferers in Indonesia too.
That’s why there are no houses numbered 13 and no number 13 beds in Indonesian hospital wards. It also explains why floor 13 is missing from Jakarta’s office/residential tower blocks.
But this is all very strange when you think about it. After all, Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country (fear of the number 13 comes from the number of people attending the Last Supper, while the fear of Friday 13th is because Jesus’ Crucifixion took place on a Friday).
But besides the missing 13 floor in Indonesia, loads of other floors in offices are also missing - as this blogger in Jakarta found out:
…I counted the number of floors and it was about 29. When I got in the lift the first time, I see that the top floor is 36. I was a little puzzled. Did I count the number of windows wrong? A few days after I moved into the apartment, I was going up in the lift, and watching the floor indicator, I noticed that it skipped numbers 13 and 14.
…And it gets even weirder. The next day, I was studying the selector board and noticed that there is no number 4 on the board… Floors number 4, 14, 24 and 34 are just not there.
The reason for this of course is that there are a lot of Chinese Indonesian people in Jakarta, and according to Chinese tradition, number 4 means bad luck.
So be careful when you go home today. Especially If you leave at 4.00pm!!