Friday the 13th

What is a Friday the 13th tattoo and where did the tradition come from? The unlucky day Friday the 13th is not so unlucky for tattoo lovers as many artists offer discounted tattoos. Tattoo fans see Friday the 13th as a Black Friday of tattoos and not for the bad luck associated with it – this is a day of discounts and getting spooky tattoos.
In the tattoo world, the number 13 is considered to be a symbol of good luck. This is an interesting difference from what most consider of the date. Friday the 13th is so scary for some that it even has an official phobia name – paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. The number is seen as unlucky across the world, with franchises like the Friday the 13th film series tapping into this superstition. Many anticipate a day full of bad luck, so you would think people would avoid getting permanently inked. On the contrast in the tattoo world, the number 13 is considered to be a symbol of good luck. It is thought that having a 13 tattooed on you would encourage bad luck to pass you by. Many artists use Friday the 13th as a perfect opportunity to ink clients, often at a discounted price. Popularized by tattoo artist Oliver Peck in Dallas, Friday the 13th tattoos are a major event at parlors across the country. The industry has proclaimed it a “holiday” entailing themed flash sheets – a group of designs to choose from but traditionally not open for modification – which were cheap enough for those struggling with money to be able to get a cool new ink. Year after year every Friday the 13th people flock to different studios collecting new 13th tattoos. It has become a phenomenon that has connected so many of us from collectors finding new artists to artists meeting new friends and clients and getting the chance to do some cool themed tattoos that they may have not had the chance to tattoo if not for the holiday. The prices vary by shop, but many offer the tattoo for $13 with a mandatory $7 tip. Across the globe, artists have taken up this tradition although not all stick to the $13 rule. Recently we have seen many studios flipping the price to a $31 tattoo and a $9 tip. Piercers have even gotten in on the fun offering $13 needle fees plus the price of the jewelry. I for one am all for the makeshift tattoo holiday of Friday the 13th and the fun cult following it has received.

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