Friday, 13 April 2012

Friday 13th, Your Wedding and Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code – Unlucky for Some!

As the Archive blogs over the last couple of weeks show, there are many customs and indeed superstitions connected with weddings.


A wedding, in times gone by, was an occasion when evil spirits and bad luck could descend upon people and affect them for the rest of their lives. Therefore a wedding was a time when lucky charms, potions and good spirits appeared in abundance to ward away the nasty and evil things that could affect life and luck.


Many of these customs, which originated a long time ago, are still around today.  The bride wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.   Why?


The full ‘old rhyme’ reads:

Something old, something new,

Something borrowed, something blue,

And a silver sixpence in her shoe.


It is said to have derived from a Puritan Marriage Custom where a silver sixpence was placed in the shoe of the bride on her wedding day.  This sixpence was crucial and was there to ensure that the bride would have financial luck with her through her married life. This  custom lasted between the early 1600’s right through to the present day.


Having ‘Something Old’ represents the brides life up to her wedding day: the warm remembered family times and the link to the childhood which is now being left behind.  ...yes, the 'old car' will suffice.


The ‘Something New’, which is often the wedding dress, represents good luck and a wish for success for the future of the couple.


The bride has ‘Something Borrowed’ to show that she has a wealth of support around her;  support which is to continue on after the marriage ceremony is long forgotten.


And we’ve all seen the ‘Blue’ somewhere on the bride.  Now often appears as part of the garter as it cannot be seen openly and therefore does not clash with the bride’s colour scheme! Occasionally, brides wear the blue openly to follow the ‘old tradition.’  As we have mentioned before in our blog, blue, in early times symbolised purity and a loyalty to the groom.


It is very bad luck for the groom to see the wedding dress before the ‘Big Day’ and for the groom to see the bride on the wedding day before the ceremony. Seeing the bride or her dress before the wedding brings bad luck. This custom is a ‘seclusion rite’ from ancient times when the bride was not to be seen prior to the wedding as she would pass on ‘ill-luck!’  This ‘in-between stage’ i.e. not being single and not being married, was thought to be a dangerous period as it made the bride vulnerable to evil spirits and bad luck. 


So, getting to the point, why is Friday 13th considered unlucky…lots of reasons  but here is just one of them…


The modern day characteristic of the ‘unlucky’ Friday the 13th stems from one Friday in particular. Friday 13th October 1307.   This was written about in Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code. King Phillip IV of France colluding with Pope Clement V executed warrants against the Knights Templar and thereafter the Templars, as they were known, lost their immense power, never to achieve the like again.


The Templars were pronounced heretics and it was on this date that their Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, was arrested. He was subsequently tortured and executed by crucifixion. Friday 13th was very unlucky for Jacques de Molay!





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