Do you know what is the history behind names of weekdays? There are many things in our everyday lives that we use without the faintest idea of how were they invented or how did their name originate. Sometimes we use terms and have no idea why those terms are used as a name for those specific things. One of many such instances are the names of the days. Every weekday has a story, it is about time you knew.
The names of the weekdays are actually inspired by the planets. According to the culture, a deity was associated with each planet. In certain countries, Monday is the first day of the week whereas, in some, Sunday is the first. To avoid confusion, let’s follow the international standard ISO 8601 and consider Monday as the first day.
The first day of the month is dedicated to the Moon. It is actually Moon’s day. The term is derived from Old English. Named after Mani, the German moon god. In another significant and old language, Latin, the day was called dies lunae, the day of the moon. Another language in which the day is named after the Moon is Hindi. In Hindi, the day is called, Somvar. Named after Som, the moon God.
The second day of the week is named after the Germanic War god, Tiw or Tyr. Tuesday actually means ‘Tiw’s day’ In Latin too, the day named after Mars, the Roman god of War. It was called dies Martis, which translates into the day of Mars. In Hindi, the day is called Mangalvar, deriving its name from the Hindu god of War, Mangala. All these deities were associated with the red planet
This name too was derived from Old English. It means, ‘Wodan’s day’ named after Wodan, who was supposed to be the guide of souls in the afterlife. In Latin, the day was called dies Mercuri, the day of Mercury. Mercury, too, was supposed to be the deity who guides souls in the afterlife. In Hindi, it is called Budhavar, after Budha, the Hindi name for the planet Mercury.
The day is named after Thor, the Norse god, although the name is derived from Old English. Thor was the god of thunder. In Latin, the day is called dies Jovis, the day of Jupiter. Jupiter was the king of the Roman Gods and god of thunder. In Hinduism, Brihaspati is the guru of the Gods. In Hindi, Thursday is called Guruvar. Brihaspati is also the Hindi name for Jupiter.
Friday means the ‘day of Frige’, she was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of love and fertility. Her Roman counterpart was Venus. In Latin, the Friday was called dies Veneris. In Hindi, the day is called Shukravar after the planet’s name, Shukra.
Saturday is derived from ‘Saturn’, the Roman god of wealth and prosperity. The name originates from Latin. In Latin, the day was called dies Saturni. The planet Saturn was named after the God. In Hindi, the day is called Shanivar, named after the Hindu god Shani, god of bad luck and the name of the planet.
Sunday means the ‘Sun’s day’. It is probably named after Sol, the Sun goddess. In Latin, it is called dies Solis, a day of the Sun. In Hindi, the day is called Ravivar, named after the sun god who has many synonyms to be referred with.the names of the days may be different in different languages but we can certain of the fact that there was communication between all the civilisations and thus, we had the similar system of naming the days after planets. It was incorporated by all, and perhaps that is why we still continue to follow the age-old system.