Swiss view Friday the 13th with trepidation

graphic Friday 13th

The end of the week usually brings with it a collective sigh of relief. Not this week, though. One in four Swiss is said to be dreading Friday the 13th, and this one is particularly worrying since there'll be a full moon, too.

This content was published on October 12, 2000 - 10:46

A survey of 639 people published this week in Switzerland found that a substantial number associated Friday the 13th and the full moon with extraordinary occurrences.

The full moon was seen as more ominous than the infamous Friday - a fifth of respondents said they had previously had strange experiences during a full moon. Of those, two thirds said the experience had been unpleasant.

Only 11 per cent said they had noticed extraordinary things happening on Friday the 13th. And most of them said these occurrences were benign.

Despite these concerns, it seems that the Swiss don't take superstitions too seriously.

The lottery in the French-speaking cantons has been eager to remind potential ticket buyers that Friday is indeed the 13th. However, Marguerite Geiger of the LORO lottery group said latest reports did not indicate a significant rise in sales.

There hasn't been a rush for the registry office, either, despite suggestions that the date is an advantageous one for newly-weds.

In fact, slightly fewer couples than usual appear prepared to over-ride general superstition and tie the knot on such a date, according to Geneva's registry office.

Learner drivers aching to pass their test seem equally unperturbed. Driving schools say they have had the odd cancellation, but not enough to lay the blame on the date or the size of the moon.

Indeed, matters of life or death seem unaffected, too. No patients are known to have asked for their operations to be postponed.

Recent history suggests the Swiss are right to brush aside fears of the supernatural. The last time Friday the 13th coincided with a full moon was in March 1998. And nothing out of the ordinary was reported.

swissinfo with agencies

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