January 19 is a holiday in the Orthodox tradition commemorating the baptism of Jesus. On this day all the waters become holy. Believers, revelers, and exhibitionists alike wade out naked into the rivers and lakes in a ritualistic freezing bath.
The explanation for 13 being an unlucky number seems to have to do with it being one beyond the perfect 12: hours on the clock, months of the year, apostles of Christ.... Others seem to think it may have something to do with Judas being the 13th -- and last -- to sit at the table.
Up until the patriarchal revolution, both Fridays and 13s were held in the very highest esteem. Both the day and the number were associated with the Great Goddesses, and therefore, regarded as the sacred essence of luck and good fortune.
Kevin put the boat in neutral, got the rod out of the holder, and fought the fish up to the boat. It was a beautiful seven-pound bluefish. "The pants were too hot," he told me, grinning. "Maybe they were the problem."