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Superstition: Full 'Strawberry' Moon Rises on Friday the 13th

Jun 12, 2014 10:55 AM EDT

If you're superstitious, then you'll be curious to know that tomorrow is not only Friday the 13th, but also a unique full Moon - a phenomenon that hasn't occurred in over a decade.

Specifically, the full moon - also called a "strawberry" moon for the strawberry season, or "honey" moon for its golden tinge - will occur at 12:11 a.m. EDT on Thursday night (or Friday morning), reported.

The last time the cosmos served up this double whammy was October 13, 2000. But believers in bad luck and freakish, full moon-induced human behavior (hence the term lunacy) will be thankful that this coincidence won't happen again until August 13, 2049.

The origins of the dreaded date are unclear.

Some have suggested that it's rooted in the Christian faith where traitorous Judas was deemed the 13th guest at the Last Supper, according to The Independent, or that Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden apple on this day.

Of course, there's absolutely no evidence that Friday the 13th is unlucky, or that the full moon changes people's behavior (werewolves aside). That's not to say that people have not tried to justify their superstition.

A study published in the British Medical Journal in 1998 noted that the number of motor vehicle accidents in a London suburb increased from a total of 45 on six Friday 6ths between 1989 and 1992, to 65 accidents on the six Friday 13ths in the same period - that's a 52 percent increase.

A Dutch study published in 2008 by The Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics concluded, however, that "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventively more careful or just stay home," according to The Independent.

"Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th," the authors added.

Despite the lack of statistical evidence, that does not deter people from believing in the myth. The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, N.C. reported that about 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of Friday 13th.

It also costs our economy approximately $800- $900 million because people won't travel on the day.

So for all of those selenophobes (fear of the Moon) and friggatriskaidekaphobes (fear of Friday the 13th) out there, best stay inside tomorrow.

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