Hope or despair, Friday the 13th and its superstitions

Black cat or white cat? Today, the most superstitious among us tremble or, on the contrary, await a nice sign from fate. According to an Ifop study for the Esteban Frederic clairvoyance site, 31% of French people believe in an influence of Friday the 13th on their destiny.

One of the beliefs that sticks to this day is that it would bring bad luck. An apprehension reinforced in particular by the tragic events that occurred on this date and which exalt its fatal aura, such as the drama of the Andes cordillera in October 1972, hurricane Charley in August 2004 or the sinking of the Costa Concordia on Friday January 13, 2012.

35% of Provençals are more likely to play on Friday the 13th

Conversely, this day can be a date synonymous with hope and windfall. A conviction shared by 26% of French people, according to a CSA and Française des Jeux study (FDJ). And, in Paca, this superstition is even more rooted: 31% of respondents associate the number 13 with luck.

A special day to try to force fate: nearly one in three French people would be more likely to play a gambling game on that day and 29% would be more inclined to bet a large sum. The Paca region is the 2nd most gambler in France: 35% of Provençals are more likely to gamble and 32% to bet more money.

Friday the 13th is therefore a day which arouses hope in almost a third of the population, an opportunity well spotted in particular by the FDJ: an exceptional jackpot is to be won, each time. Today is no exception to the rule since there are 13 million euros to be won in the lottery.

The increasingly superstitious French

So, whether it’s luck or bad luck, the French increasingly believe in some effect of Friday the 13th on their lives. Nowadays, 1 in 3 people agree with this hypothesis, whereas they were only 1 in 4 in 2014.

In general, the tendency to believe is gaining momentum According to the Ifop study, 62% of French people adhere to at least one superstition or one discipline of mancie. Among the most popular beliefs are the lucky stars (56%) and astrology (44%). The lines of the hand, witchcraft and clairvoyance are also in a good position and are increasingly popular: these beliefs have gained 15, 11 and 14 points respectively since 2000.

A logical growth since “pThe more you are in a society that is stressful and in which you do not feel in control, the more likely you are to develop beliefs“, explains the professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Aix-Marseille, Thierry Ripoll. However, these last few years have not been kind: climate crisis, health crisis, war in Ukraine, precariousness… “The characteristics of our society increase this feeling of stress and loss of control and therefore our level of belief“, underlines the professor in cognitive psychology.

Stress is the first fuel for the production of beliefs which will reduce the impact of stress“, details Thierry Ripoll. Which translates today into the hope of some to win the jackpot and, for others, simply to avoid the bad luck that awaits them.

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Hope or despair, Friday the 13th and its superstitions

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