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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 22 November, 2014

Are Irish couples afraid to get married on Friday the 13th?

Stats from the General Register Office indicate some of us are still a little superstitious when it comes to the ‘unluckiest of days’…

Image: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL) via Flickr/Creative Commons

SO, IT’S FRIDAY the 13th. Unless you had planned to board a flight, take a ferry or spend the day walking under ladders, it’s unlikely you took a blind bit of notice of the date — and even then, perhaps gave it no more than a passing thought.

Long considered the unluckiest day of the calendar in the Western world, plenty of people do still take note of the date; many airlines, for instance, have no ‘row 13′ on their planes;  and it was certainly unlucky for Tupac Shakur, who met his end on a Friday the 13th back in 1996. However, as with all superstitions, there’s nothing to show that the date is particularly dangerous. According to a new survey from Chill Insurance, claims for motor accidents, for instance, are pretty much on a par with any other Friday of the year.

When it comes to big events though, do we still take notice of the date? After all, how many of us would actually walk under a ladder when there’s an option to walk around it?

Well, it turns out there are still quite a few triskaidekaphobics out there. Figures obtained from the General Register Office show that there’s 23 per cent fewer marriages planned for today, compared to last week or next Friday (there’s 189 ceremonies listed, compared to 257 on the 6 September and 234 for the 20th). A glance at some other random Fridays would seem to bear out the trend — on 16 August the figure was 230, and on 27 September there are 210 marriages listed to go ahead (so far).

So how are wedding venues bearing up amid this veritable marriage drought? We put in a few calls…

First on the list, the popular Rathsallagh House in Co Wicklow:

“Yes, we have a wedding booked — there was no problem booking it,” wedding co-0rdinator Miriam O’Keeffe says.

Funnily enough, it wasn’t the date, but we found that entire year was initially slow to book out, because there was a 13 in the year.

“Things have picked up hugely since then though, so I guess that’s gone out of peoples’ minds — we even have a booking for a Friday the 13th next June, and one for the year after that too I think, so it’s not really a thing.”

It’s a similar story at the Trim Castle Hotel in Meath:

“Yes, we do indeed have a wedding,” says event manager Laura Mulvaney. “It might take longer to sell, but we always book it.”

And do people need to be offered a discount to tie the knot on such a cursed date?

“No, no…  It might have been the case where a few years ago that if it wasn’t selling coming up to the date we’d offer a discount, but that’s not the case anymore.”

Next on the list, Bewleys Hotel — in the heart of Dublin 4:

“Yes we have a lovely couple getting married,” says Banqueting and Conference Co-ordinator Karen Lecaille.

“It wouldn’t have taken longer to book — we did have a few people who would have said ‘no’ straight away and picked other dates, but I suppose some people are less superstitious than others.”

So, there you have it — people who are wary of Friday the 13th choose not to get married on the date, while those who don’t mind, do.

Heathens.

Read: Pope’s deputy says celibacy is ‘not a dogma’ of the church >

Read: 8 things anyone living in a Celtic Tiger apartment will understand >

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