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Today, Friday the 13th, is just another day for milliont. But for the superstitious, there are many rituals to be performed so as not to tempt fate.
This year has three Friday 13th, a rare occurrence. So far, it’s been plagued by bad luck.
The first incident was on January 13, when the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia sank near the island of Isola del Giglio, killing 32 aboard and injuring 64.
Amid the Eurozone crisis, on the same day France, Austria, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain had their credit ratings downgraded by Standard & Poors.
The second was April 13. An earthquake with a 4.5 magnitude hit Palermo, Italy. On the same day a tornado tore through Oklahoma, US, causing severe damage.
It’s also been almost 40 years since the October 1972 Andes flight disaster happened on a Friday the 13th.
The Uruguayan Air Force Flight carrying 45 people, including a rugby team, their friends, family and associates, crashed in the Andes mountains. The survivors – who spent over two months in the mountains – were forced to resort to cannibalism. Sixteen people survived.
For hip hop fans, the murder of iconic rap musician Tupac Shakur on Friday 13th in September 1996 signified a bad omen.
But the date has had its ups too.
The Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley, were born on the day in June 1986.
Other Friday 13th births include Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Private Practice star Kate Walsh.
Either way, there are celebs who are not taking any chances when it comes to superstition.
Hip hop star Missy Elliot refuses to cross the path of a black cat, while you’ll never find Emma Roberts walking under ladders. Socialite Paris Hilton knocks on wood and always makes her wishes at 11.11, while model Heidi Klum carries around a bag of her own baby teeth.
Penelope Cruz was en route by air to a movie set in 2004 when the plane had to make an emergency landing. Since then, whenever Cruz boards a plane, she gets in, then out, and then in again.
Jennifer Aniston always taps the outside of a plane, and steps in with her right foot first for good luck.
Actor James McAvoy says “white rabbit” to the first person he meets on the first day of every month for good luck.
Wimbledon champion Serena Williams also has her own good luck secrets. She has to tie shoelaces in a particular way, bounces the ball five times before her first serve and twice before her second. She’s also said to wear the same pair of socks for the full run of a tournament.
Lady Gaga is superstitious about sex. She has said that if you have sex with someone who really cares for or loves you, it could mess up your energy. Gaga has also raised concerns about how having sex could harm her ability to be creative.
Tiger Woods, who is known for his signature red golf shirt while on the greens, believes that wearing red brings him good luck.
For those who do believe that the day brings bad luck, there are ways to avoid disaster.
It is considered bad luck to: get up on the left side of the bed, handle brooms, open umbrellas inside a house, walk under ladders, cross the path of a black cat. Many people will avoid travel altogether, and will not sign contracts on the day. It is also unlucky to have 13 people at a table during a meal.
While it is accepted that the number 13 is just a superstition, most tall buildings skip from the 12th to the 14th floor. Breaking a mirror is thought to bring seven years of bad luck. But it can be undone by touching a piece of the broken mirror to a gravestone or grinding it to powder. – Feature Reporter