Monday, April 09, 2007

Story behind the names of the days of the week

Have you ever thought about how the names of the days of the week came about? The days of the week were named by the Romans and by other ancient civilisations, after the sun, moon and planets, which were considered Gods.

Sunday: The first day of the week was, in the past, Sunday and was traditionally viewed by the ancient Hebrews as a day of rest and worship. Sunday is named after the sun: the Sun’s day. Legend has it that babies born on Sunday were considered lucky.
Monday was viewed as the second day of the week and was dedicated to the moon: Moon’s day. It was believed that three Mondays during the year were considered unlucky: the first Monday in April, second in August and the last in December.
Tuesday viewed as the third day of the week was named after the Roman God of war: Mars. In Hindi Tuesday is known as Mangalvar also named after Mars as Mangal is Mars in Hindi.
Wednesday is dedicated to Mercury. Mercury, messenger to the Gods, was the Roman god of commerce and travel. In Hindi too, Budhvar as Wednesday is called, means the day of Mercury.
Thursday, the fifth day of the week is named after Jupiter, the Roman God of thunder and rain. This is also true of its Hindi equivalent, where Vrihaspatvar or Guruvar are dedicated to Vrihaspati — another name for Jupiter.
Friday was traditionally viewed as the sixth day of the week and was named by the Romans for Venus, the Goddess of love. The same is true of its Hindi counterpart: Sukravar. Sukra means Venus in Hindi.
Saturday is viewed as the seventh day of the week and was named in honour of the Roman God, Saturn. Its Hindi equivalent: Shanivar means Shani or Saturn’s day. The Hebrews called Saturday the Sabbath, meaning, day of rest.

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