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Mystery Behind Names of the Days of the Week-Why Monday is Monday!

Mystery Behind Names of the Days of the Week

Mystery Behind Names of the Days of the Week
(Image credit: <a href=””>veraholera</a> | Shutterstock)


As time unfolds, and we navigate through the rhythm of our lives, the week’s cycle plays a significant role. But have you ever paused to ponder, “Why is a week made up of precisely seven days?” And where did the intriguing names of each weekday originate?

The concept of a seven-day week finds its roots in the ancient Babylonian calendar, which traces back to the Sumerian civilization around the 21st century B.C. The Babylonians noticed that it took approximately 29.53 days for the moon to complete its various phases: full, waning half, new, and waxing half. To align their calendar with this lunar cycle, the Babylonians would add one or two days to the last week of each month.

Interestingly, the tradition of a seven-day week is also observed in Jewish culture. The Book of Genesis, which contains the renowned account of creation spanning seven days, is believed to have been written around 500 B.C. during the period of Jewish exile in Babylon. Scholars specializing in ancient Assyriology, such as Friedrich Delitzsch and Marcello Craveri, propose that the Jews might have adopted the seven-day cycle from the Babylonian calendar.

Mystery Behind Names of the Days of the Week
Mystery Behind Names of the Days of the Week

The evolution of the seven-day week is a testament to the interconnectedness of different civilizations and their influence on one another. So, as you move through each week, take a moment to appreciate the ancient origins that shape the way we organize our time. The concept of seven days carries with it a rich history, connecting us to our past and the cultural tapestry of humanity.

The inheritance of the seven-day week system from Babylonian tradition extended to the Romans, although they did not adopt it until the implementation of the Julian calendar in the first century B.C. Prior to this, the Romans followed a different system known as the “nundinal cycle,” which they inherited from the Etruscans. The nundinal cycle was an eight-day market cycle labelled A-H. On market day, rural dwellers would travel to the city, while urban dwellers would stock up on groceries for eight days. However, with the official adoption of the seven-day week by Constantine in A.D. 321, the nundinal cycle fell out of use.

In Roman culture, the days of the week were named after their gods and associated with the five known planets, along with the sun and moon (which were also considered planets by the Romans). Interestingly, many Romance languages, such as Spanish, French, and Italian, still bear the influence of these Roman day names. However, Sunday now translates to “Lord’s Day” and Saturday translates to “Sabbath,” deviating from the Roman tradition.

The English names for the days of the week retain remnants of Roman influence, yet they have undergone a transformation over centuries through the lens of Germanic and Norse mythology. The Germanic people assimilated the Roman system by equating Roman gods with their own deities, thereby creating a hybrid naming convention that blends Roman and Germanic mythos.

Have you ever wondered about the origins and meanings behind the names of the days of the week? The names we use today have fascinating historical and cultural roots that stretch back centuries. Let’s delve into the mystery and uncover the stories behind each day:


Sunday derives its name from the Old English word “Sunandæg,” meaning the day of the Sun. It was named after the Sun, which holds great significance in many ancient cultures and symbolizes light, warmth, and vitality.


Monday comes from the Old English word “Mōnandæg,” which means the Moon’s Day. In various mythologies and astrological beliefs, the Moon has been associated with femininity, emotions, and intuition.


Tuesday traces its roots to the Old English word “Tiwesdæg,” named after the Norse god Tyr or Tiw, the god of war and justice. In other cultures, such as the Romans, Tuesday was associated with the god Mars, representing war and strength.


Wednesday’s name originated from the Old English word “Wōdnesdæg,” meaning the day of Woden or Odin. Woden/Odin was a prominent Norse god associated with wisdom, poetry, and magic.


Thursday is derived from the Old English word “Þunresdæg,” named after the Norse god Thor, known for his strength, thunder, and protection. In Roman mythology, Thursday was associated with Jupiter, the king of gods.


Friday gets its name from the Old English word “Frīgedæg,” dedicated to the goddess Frige or Frigg, associated with love, fertility, and domestic affairs. In Roman mythology, Friday was linked to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.


Saturday’s name comes from the Latin word “dies Saturni,” referring to the day of Saturn. Saturn was an ancient Roman god associated with agriculture, wealth, and time. It is worth noting that Saturday was also associated with the Jewish Sabbath in many cultures.

My Final Words

The names of the days of the week offer a glimpse into the historical and cultural beliefs that shaped our understanding of time. From celestial bodies to powerful gods and goddesses, each day carries its unique significance and symbolism. Next time you glance at your calendar, remember the ancient origins behind the names that have stood the test of time.

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Pen Gossiper

Hi, I'm [Oluwafemi Talabi, popularly known as PEN GOSSIPER], and I'm passionate about bringing you the latest and most relevant news from around the world. I started this blog in [2016] as a way to share my insights and opinions on current events, politics, culture, and more. My goal is to inform, educate, and entertain you with engaging and well-researched content. Whether you're looking for breaking news, analysis, commentary, or stories that matter, you'll find them here on [FMT BLOG]. I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Thank you for your support and feedback. Feel free to contact me anytime at []

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