Tuesday the 13th | martes 13

13 by chrisinplymouth, on Flickr [used under Creative Commons license]In the Spanish-speaking world, it's Tuesday—not Friday—the 13th that carries the threat of bad luck. The number 13 has long been linked with misfortune in both the Anglo-Saxon and Hispanic cultures, but how did Tuesday, rather than Friday, come to signify a day of mala suerte?

The combination of unlucky number 13 and Tuesday may have arisen during the Middle Ages, as the city of Constantinople fell to the Muslim Turks on a Tuesday. Christians of the period considered this event to be most inauspicious, and it seems that Tuesday's reputation remained forever stained as a result. Another possible explanation lies in the origins of the Spanish word for Tuesday. Martes stems from the name of the Roman god of war, Mars, and as Tuesday is ruled by this deity, the day became associated with destruction, violence and bloodshed. Lastly, legend holds that the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel took place on Tuesday the 13th.

If you're the superstitious type, take heed of the following Spanish proverb that advises against marrying or traveling on Tuesday the 13th.

En martes 13, no te cases ni te embarques.

Has anything unlucky ever happened to you on Tuesday (or Friday) the 13th?

[Photo credit: chrisinplymouth]

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