13 ( thirteen (help·info)) is the natural number after 12 and before 14. It is the smallest integer with eight letters in its spelled out name in English. It is also the age at which children officially become teenagers.
In speech, the numbers 13 and 30 are often confused. When carefully enunciated, they differ in which syllable is stressed: 13 /θərˈtiːn/ vs. 30 /ˈθɜrti/. However, in dates such as 1300 (“thirteen hundred”) or when contrasting numbers in the teens, such as 13, 14, 15, the stress shifts to the first syllable: 13 /ˈθɜrtiːn/.
Strikingly similar folkloric aspects of the number 13 have been noted in various cultures around the world: one theory is that this is due to the cultures employing lunar-solar calendars (there are approximately 12.41 lunations per solar year, and hence 12 “true months” plus a smaller, and often portentous, thirteenth month). This can be witnessed, for example, in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” of Western European tradition.
On thirteenth day of death a feast is organized. It is believed to be organised for the peace of the departed soul.
- There were thirteen participants at the Last Supper. Tradition states that Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th to sit at the table.
- Thirteen was once associated with the Epiphany by Christians, as it is said the child Jesus received the Magi on his thirteenth day of life.
- There are 13 Apostles in Christianity; the 12 Disciples plus St Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus. In addition to being the 13th Apostle, he is also known as “The Apostle” by the Church Fathers.
According to famous Sakhi (Evidence) or story of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, when he was an accountant at a town of Sultanpur Lodhi, he was distributing grocery to people and when he gave groceries to the 13th person he stopped there because in Gurmukhi and Hindi the word 13 is called Terah, which means yours. And Guru Nanak kept on saying, “Yours, yours, yours…” remembering God. People reported to the emperor that Guru Nanak was giving out free food to the people. When treasures were checked, there was more money than before.
Ik Onkar also looks like 13.
- In Judaism, 13 signifies the age at which a boy matures and becomes a Bar Mitzvah (Age of 12 for Girls, or Bat Mitzvah).
- The number of principles of Jewish faith according to Maimonides
- According to the Torah, God has 13 Attributes of Mercy
- The number of circles, or “nodes”, that make up Metatron’s Cube in Kaballistic teachings.
- In Mesoamerican divination, 13 is the number of important cycles of fortune/misfortune (see Trecena).
- The number of Norse gods (there were 12) at a banquet that was crashed by the evil god Loki (making 13) who killed Baldr with an arrow/spear made out of mistletoe using Hodr, thus marking the beginning of Ragnarok.
- Thirteen (13) is the sixth prime number.
- Traditionally, there are 13 witches in a Wiccan coven.
The number 13 is associated with bad luck in some countries, and even has a specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia, a word which was coined in 1911. Friday the 13th has been considered an unlucky day since the 1800s, as a combination between an unlucky day, Friday, and the number 13.
In Sikhism, the number 13 is considered a special number since 13 is tera in Punjabi, which also means “yours” (as in, “I am yours, O Lord”). The legend goes that when Guru Nanak Dev was taking stock of items as part of his employment with a village merchant, he counted from 1 to 13 (in Punjabi) as one does normally; and thereafter he would just repeat “tera”, since all items were God’s creation. The merchant confronted Guru Nanak about this, but found everything to be in order after the inventory was checked. April 13 also usually turns out to be Vaisakhi every year, which is the Sikh New Year and the major Sikh Holiday.
Several successful sports figures have worn the number 13. Ozzie Guillén, manager of the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, has worn the number throughout his baseball career. Alex Rodriguez began wearing it upon joining the New York Yankees (three, the number he had previously worn, is retired by the Bronx Bombers to honor Babe Ruth). Dan Marino, an American football player known for passing the 2nd most yards in NFL history, wore the number 13. Basketball great Wilt Chamberlain wore the number 13 on his jersey throughout his NBA career. Also, FIBA rules require a player to wear the number in international competitions (only numbers from 4 to 15 could be worn, and as there are 12 players, one must wear 13); Chris Mullin, who wore #20 in college and #17 in the NBA, wore #13 for both (1984 and 1992) of his Olympic appearances. Shaquille O’Neal wore #13 in 1996, Tim Duncan wore #13 in 2004, Steve Nash is currently wearing it for the Phoenix Suns, Yao Ming wore it in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and Mats Sundin and Bill Guerin wear 13 in the NHL. One of Iceland’s all time best handball players, Sigurður Sveinsson, wore the number 13 when he played for the national team. In association football, both Gerd Müller and Michael Ballack have favoured the number 13, among others.
Colgate University also considers 13 to be a lucky number. They were founded in 1819 by 13 men with 13 dollars, 13 prayers, and 13 articles. (To this day, members of the Colgate community consider the number 13 a good omen.) In fact, the campus address is 13 Oak Drive in Hamilton, NY and the all men a cappella group is called the Colgate 13.
- It is at this point that a person becomes a teenager.
- In Jewish tradition a boy becomes bar mitzvah at age 13, when a ceremony is held and the boy reads from the Torah scroll and leads the congregation for the first time.
- Youngest age a minor can watch a PG-13 rated movie by the MPAA without the recommendation of parental guidance or parental consent.
- Youngest age a minor can rent or purchase a T rated game by the ESRB without parental (age 18 or older) consent.
Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino wore number 13 for the Miami Dolphins, who retired his number in 2000. Pro Football future Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner wears 13. 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash wears the number 13.
In football (soccer), Kristine Lilly, who made more international appearances than any other player in the sport’s history, wore #13 for the USA women’s team. A current notable wearer of #13 in football is Michael Ballack, who wears the jersey both for his club Chelsea and the Germany national team, the latter of which he captains.
In Formula One, no driver has had the number 13 on his car since 1976.
In other fields
- The number of colonies that formed the United States. The original flag had thirteen stars, one for each state. New stars have since been added whenever a new state joins the union, but the idea of adding stripes for new states was soon dropped, so the American flag to this day has thirteen horizontal stripes: six white ones and seven red ones.
- In the Great Seal of the United States there are 13 olive leaves (with 13 olives), 13 arrows, and 13 stars. These form a triangle over the eagle with the number 13 on each point. On the reverse the pyramid has 13 levels.
- The number of guns in a gun salute to U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Major Generals, and Navy and Coast Guard Rear Admirals Upper Half.
- The original number of members of The Thirteen Club.
- The number of loaves in a “baker’s dozen“
- There are traditionally thirteen steps leading up to a gallows. It is, however, an urban myth that there are thirteen turns in a hangman’s noose (there are most commonly eight turns.)
- Rondeau is a poem with 13 lines in some variants.
- Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, marking the beginning of Caesar’s civil war and the eventual death of the Roman Republic.
- In some countries, the number 13 is considered unlucky and building owners will sometimes purposefully omit a floor so numbered.
- Trece is the Spanish word for thirteen; the number 13 is used to identify members of 13th Sureños – chicano gang members in the U.S. that identify themselves with la Eme – the Mexican Mafia.
- In the mythology of the television program, Battlestar Galactica, Earth is the 13th colony, lost after humanity left their planet of origin, Kobol, and created the Twelve Colonies
- In Thailand, the traditional Thai New Year (Songkran Day) is on April 13.
- 13 steps is a paragraph of the Final Document (agreed by consensus) of the 2000 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
- In the television series House, Dr. Remy Hadley (Olivia Wilde) is nicknamed Thirteen, the number she was assigned in competition to fill the three vacancies in the title character’s diagnostic team in Season 4.
- In the shojo manga Fruits Basket, 13 members of the sohma family are cursed with the twelve animal spirits of the Chinese Zodiac, plus the cat who was, according to legend left out of the Zodiac.
- 13 is the number of the French department Bouches-du-Rhône
- The Midnighters Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld is a book entirely based on the number 13. All the spells are based on thirteen letter words. The houses all have 13 pointed stars on the doorways. The town where it takes place, Bixby, Oklahoma has thirteen letters.
- Before the plot was foiled, there were thirteen plotters in the Gunpowder Plot.
- Apollo 13 was the only unsuccessful mission by the United States of America intended to land humans on the moon. The explosion of an oxygen tank on April 13, 1970 sent the flight crew and ground crews into several days of intense survival mode. All three astronauts returned safely to Earth. Although the primary objective of the mission failed, it is one of the most famous and inspiring space adventures in the history of the planet Earth.
- The main character in the manga Black Cat, Train Heartnet, has the roman numeral thirteen on his chest.
- Jason Robert Brown‘s most recent hit Broadway musical, Thirteen (13), stars a cast of 13 teenagers.
- Korean boy band Super Junior features 13 people.
- In the videogame series Kingdom Hearts, there is a group called “Organization XIII”, which is composed originally of thirteen members (however, with the release of 358/2 Days for Nintendo DS, there are fourteen members). Roxas, the Nobody of the central protagonist Sora, is given the number XIII (13)upon joining the organization’s ranks.