Why We Have a Seven Day Week and the Origin of the Names of the Days of the Week

days-of-the-weekToday I found out why we have a seven day week and the origins of each day’s name.

Two of the earliest known civilizations to use a seven day week were the Babylonians and the Jews.  The Babylonians marked time with lunar months and it is thought by many scholars that this is why they chose a seven day week (though direct evidence of this being why they did this is scant). That being said, each lunar month was made up of several different cycles—on the first day, the first visible crescent appeared; on approximately the seventh, the waxing half-moon could be seen; on approximately the fourteenth, the full moon; on approximately the twenty-first, the waning half-moon; and on approximately the twenty-eighth, the last visible crescent. As you can see, each notable cycle is made up of about seven days, hence, the seven-day week.

You’ll notice I used the word “approximate” a lot in there.  This is because the moon phases don’t line up perfectly with this schedule.  As such, as far back as the 6th century BC (which incidentally is also around the time the Jews were captives in Babylon), the Babylonians would sometimes have three seven day weeks, followed by an 8-9 day week, presumably to re-synchronize the start and end of the weeks to match the phases of the moon.

In their normal seven day week, the Babylonians held the seventh day of each week as holy, much like the Jews did and still do.  However, the Babylonians also held the day to be unlucky.  Thus, similar to the Jews (but for a different reason- the unluckiness of the day), the seventh day had restrictions on certain activities to avoid dire consequences from the inherit unluckiness of the day. The final “seventh day” of the month for the Babylonians was a day of rest and worship.

By deistic decree, the Jews also followed a seven day cycle with the seventh day- the Sabbath-  to be a day of rest and worship.  In fact, the word “Sabbath” comes from the Hebrew “shabbath”, meaning “day of rest”, which in turn comes from the Hebrew “shabath”, meaning “he rested”- thus resting in homage to God resting on the seventh “day” after creating the universe. (Note: some biblical scholars believe the “day” here, in terms of six “days” to create the universe, one to rest, is more accurately translated as “period” or “interval” rather than a literal Earth day.  This is perhaps not unlike the “40 days and 40 nights” Jewish saying being a non-literal ancient Jewish expression simply meaning “a really long time”.)

Unlike the Babylonians, where it appears they were attempting to follow the lunar cycles with their seven day week, it isn’t known why the Jews picked seven days, outside of Christians and Jews of course believing that it was by the decree of God.

Whatever the case, the Ancient Romans, during the Republic, did not use a seven day week, but rather went with eight days.  One “eighth day” of every week was set aside as a shopping day where people would buy and sell things, particularly buying food supplies for the following week.

Rather than labeling the days of the week with actual names, at this time the Romans labeled them with letters, A-H.  You might think from this that the “H” was always the shopping day, but this isn’t correct.  You see, the calendar year did not divide evenly by eight.  Thus, the day of the week that was the day to go shopping changed every year, but they still often referred to days based on its proximity to the shopping day.

For reasons not entirely clear, within a century after the introduction of the Julian Calendar was introduced in 46 BC, the eight day week started to diminish in popularity in favor of the seven day week.  The full switch was not sudden, happening over centuries, and for a time, as the seven day week grew in popularity, both the seven and eight day weeks were used in Rome simultaneously.  Finally, after the popularity of the eight day week diminished to almost nothing, Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor, made the seven day week official in AD 321.  Due to the influence of both Rome and Christianity, this has stuck in most regions of the world ever since.

So now what about the origins of the names of the days of the week?  Ancient Mesopotamian astrologers assigned each day the name of a god. The Greeks later called these days “theon hemerai”, or if that’s all Greek to you, “days of the Gods”. In a culture where days were consumed by religion, it’s only natural that the days of the week were made in homage to the gods thought to rule the lives of mortals. The days of the week follow the same trend as the months of the year, many of which (including January and March) are named after gods from several different pantheons.

The Romans, upon beginning to use the seven day week instead of the eight day, then adopted the names of the week to fit their own gods. The names of the week were then adopted by Germanic peoples. Despite Greek and Roman gods being the more popular and more well-known of the pantheons, it is largely the Germanic and Norse gods that have received the most credit and live on in the names of the days of the week today.

While different societies start the week on different days—usually Sunday or Monday—I’ll start with Monday, which was named for the moon. It could be translated as “Moon’s day”. This homage to the moon can be seen in several other languages as well. In Latin, it’s “dies lunae”, or “day of the moon”. In ancient Greek, “hemera selenes”, which means the same thing. In more modern languages, Monday is “lunes” in Spanish and “lundi” in French, both of which come from the root word for moon—”luna” and “lune” in each respective language.

Tuesday is the first to be named after a god. It was named for Tiu, or Twia, a lesser-known god of war and the sky from the English/Germanic pantheon. He is also associated with the Norse god Tyr, who was a defender god in Viking mythology. However, Tuesday does not translate the same in other languages. In Latin, it’s “dies Martis” or “Day of Mars” and in ancient Greek it’s “hemera Areos” or “day of Ares”. Both Mars and Ares were gods of war like Tyr and they lent their names to day of the week translations for other modern languages. Tuesday is “martes” in Spanish and “mardi” in French, both named for the Roman god Mars.

Wednesday can be translated as “Woden’s day”. Woden, associated with the Norse god Odin, was the chief god and leader of the wild hunt in Anglo-Saxon mythology. Directly translated, “woden” means “violently insane headship”, and does not put one in mind of the best of gods. Unlike the other days of the week, the gods named in the Latin and Greek days of the week – Mercury and Hermes —  are not associated with violent leadership, but with travel, commerce, and theft. Both are messenger gods. It is for Mercury that Spanish and French decided to name Wednesday—”miercoles” and “mercredi” respectively.

Thursday is one of the easiest days to translate, meaning “Thor’s day”. Named for the Norse god of thunder and lightning. Thursday is also associated with Jupiter in Latin (“dies Jovis”) and Zeus in Greek (“hemera Dios”). All three gods are known for their storm-creating abilities, but while the English language took Thor as its god for Thursday, Spanish and French adopted Jupiter instead, naming Thursday “jueves” and “jeudi” which have roots in Jupiter.

Friday is associated with Freya, the Norse goddess of love, marriage, and fertility. The Latin, “dies Veneris”, and the Greek, “hemeres Aphrodite”, call upon the goddesses Venus and Aphrodite instead. The latter two goddesses are also patrons of love and beauty, and all three goddesses are called upon in womanly matters like fertility and childbirth. Following the trend of the other days, Spanish and French adopted Venus for Friday rather than Freya, naming their days “viernes” and “vendredi”.

Saturday in English derives from “Saturn’s day” which was taken from the Latin, “dies Saturni”. Saturn was a Roman god and, over different periods of time, associated with wealth, plenty, and time. The day in Spanish and French (“sabado” and “samedi” respectively) was named simply as it is the Jewish Sabbath- “sabado” deriving from the Latin “sabbatum”, meaning “Sabbath”, and “samedi” deriving from the Old French “samedi”, which in turn comes from the Latin “dies Sabbati”, meaning “Day of the Sabbath”.

Sunday is “Sun’s day”, translated in both Latin (“dies solis”) and Greek (“hemera helio”) as “day of the sun”. Interestingly, in Spanish and French (“domingo” and “dimanche”) it is more closely translated as “Lord’s day” or “Sabbath day”, pointing to more the Christian/Jewish God.

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Bonus Facts:

  • For a very brief time in France, the French abandoned the seven day week in favor of a ten day week, beginning in 1793 thanks to the new republican calendar developed in France at that time.  This was abandoned nine years later when the Roman Catholic Church was reestablished in France.  The official switch back to the seven day week happened on April 18, 1802- Easter Sunday.
  • The USSR also for a time (starting in 1929) abandoned the seven day week in favor of at first a five day week, then a six day week.  This in turn was abandoned and the seven day week was re-established in 1940.
  • One complete lunar phase cycle, a “lunation”, is currently exactly 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 3 seconds.
  • The Latin days of the week also reflect those planets closest to Earth—Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter, plus the sun and moon.
  • Sunday is a working day in many Muslim countries and Israel. It is also a popular day in the United States and the United Kingdom to schedule televised sporting events.
  • Monday is considered a bad day because it is the first day of the working week, but in Judaism and Islam, it is considered a good day for fasting. It is also a day to commemorate angels in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
  • In the United States, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veteran’s Day always fall on Mondays.
  • In Greek tradition, Tuesday is considered unlucky because Constantinople fell on a Tuesday. In Judaism, Tuesdays are lucky because in the Book of Genesis it is mentioned as a good day twice.
  • Wednesdays are days for fasting in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
  • In Australia, most shopping malls have “late night shopping” on Thursdays, as it is the day most Australians are paid.
  • Friday is considered an unlucky day to begin a voyage, but a good day for sowing the seed. Condemning a slave on Friday is forbidden under Muslim law.
  • Saturday is the Jewish day of rest, rather than Sunday as is common in most denominations of Christianity.
[Days of the Week Image via Shutterstock] Expand for References
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  • ganesh

    What a badly-written article. It’s so bad that reading it and trying to make sense of it will actually damage your brain.

    “it isn’t known why the Jews picked seven days”

    Oy. The Babylonians and the ancient Jews did not just happen to both have 7-day weeks with the 7th day being holy. The Babylonians were excellent astronomers and the Jews adopted the 7-day week from them during their Babylonian captivity.

    As for the names of the days of the week, try this simple explanation:

    The Latin names, based mostly on the names of Roman gods, continued to be used in the languages derived from Latin – Italian, Spanish, and French.

    The Anglo-Saxon tribes who conquered Britain and helped create the English language substituted the names of their gods for the Latin names.

    There, I fixed it for you.

    • Daven Hiskey

      @ganesh: “The Babylonians and the ancient Jews did not just happen to both have 7-day weeks with the 7th day being holy. The Babylonians were excellent astronomers and the Jews adopted the 7-day week from them during their Babylonian captivity. ” While that was my initial inclination too, it turns out there is no hard evidence of that, just circumstantial. The Jews and Christians, of course, will argue that the 7 day week among the Jews has been around since Moses, which predates 6th century Babylon by a good margin. Bottom line, if there is no hard evidence, I can’t have such a definite assertion made in an article on TIFO. As you see in the article, it was noted that around the first evidence of the Babylonian 7 day calendar, the Jews were in Babylon, hinting at the connection. But, again- to put it in explicitly we’d need some hard evidence. If you know of some, please share.

      “As for the names of the days of the week, try this simple explanation.” You see, that doesn’t make a very interesting article. TIFO’s all about the details and impeccable accuracy in them. If you want that kind of simplistic explanation, lacking interesting details, you should check out a site like OMGFacts or the like. Granted, there you’ll find a lot of inaccuracies, but they have gotten a bit better about that the last year or two- still can be sketchy though.

      “What a badly-written article.” For the reasons listed above, and that it’s incredibly hard to write an article with a list of etymologies and the like and still maintain great readability and flow (so that it doesn’t start reading like a dictionary), I’m going to have to strongly disagree with you on that one. Everybody’s got their own tastes, but I thought this was a phenomenally written article and was much more interesting than I thought it would be from the base topic, which usually means the author did a great job. Particularly for a second time TIFO article effort from this author, Emily, I am actually a little blown away at how good it is. 🙂

  • Berkana

    “Sabado” does not mean Saturn; it means “Sabbath”. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, which is Saturday, and to this day, Jews keep it on the seventh day.

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Berkana: Thanks for the catch! Fixed! 🙂

  • Brian

    But why was Saturday named for a Roman god rather than an Anglo-Saxon/Norse god? Did the Norse use a 7-day week? Or was it 6 days, accounting for having to import a name from Latin?

    • Daven Hiskey

      Nobody knows exactly why a Roman god was picked, though it’s speculated that it was simply because there was no corresponding Northern European Saturn god, so they just stuck with what the Romans used.

      The Old Norse name for the day was “laugardagr”, literally meaning “bath day”. 🙂

  • Debi

    The names of the days of the week in East Asia are very similar, down to the corresponding planets – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Week-day_names#East_Asian_Seven_Luminaries

    When I took Japanese language classes years ago I particularly noticed the parallels with Sunday and Monday.

  • Dan Silverman

    You mention that Tuesday is the first day to be named after a god implying that the sun and the moon were not gods. You also mentioned that these traditions come from the Babylonian (actually it’s Sumerian before them) and in Babylon, the sun and the moon WERE associated with gods – Shamash and Sin. The sun is still called Shamash in Hebrew, Arabic and other Semitic Languages. I know the wikipedia article – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven-day_week – mostly mentions Babylon, however, the Babylonians were using the system they got from Sumer. As far as we can tell, the Sumerians were the ones who assigned the days of the week and the gods they are associated with. Also, the reason there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour is because the Sumerians used a numbering system known as Sexagesimal – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyro-Babylonian_mathematics. There are many books talking about how many facets at the very core of of our current civilization started in Sumer.

    To me, the fact that there are only seven objects that wander in the sky and that there are seven days, each associated with a wanderer (and as you mention, associated with the same exact ones to this day) is a pretty big coincidence.

  • Gerard Mack

    The name of the first day of the week has names such as Domenica and Domingo in Catholic countries and replaced ‘Day-of-the-sun’ which was the day dedicated to the god Mithras. This took place when Constantine adopted Christianity as the roman religion.

  • Ori

    Dude, as an israeli i promise you that sabbath doesn’t mean “the day of rest”. shabbat or as you call it, sabbath comes from the verb “lashevet” which means to sit. i’m sure you can see the coonnection how that means to rest.

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Ori: Sources? Online etymology dictionary and Oxford both say “from the Hebrew ‘shabbath’, meaning ‘day of rest'”.

  • The information fails to recognize India’s contribution. Kalidasa composed Shakuntala & Dushyanata play/drama around 600 BCE, many centuries before Shakespeer of 17th Century. Scholar Kautilya (Chanakya) of Chandraguta Maurya’s dynasty around 300 BCE wrote Artha Shastra Economics & Politics. Western scholars fail to recognize India’s contribution, gives credit only to Egyptians, Babylon & Jews etc. India’s Aryan & Dravidian culture & civilization is the oldest & surviving civilization. India had ancient Takshashila & Nalanda International Universities Vishva Vidyalaya. Muslim invaders destroyed India’s many valuable historical important structures, Takshshila University, currently located in Pakistan & Nalanda university in Bihar/Orissa state. Harappa &Mohenjadaro civilization is one of the oldest & richest.Ancient. Ancient Indians were using 7 days in a week, each day of the week named after a plant of our Solar system, except for Mondaya , named after earth’s Satllite Moon, instead of a Planet.

    • Manish

      Sitaram Rudrapattana – Do you have any specific source establishing that “7 day week” concept was used prior to British rule?

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  • David

    In modern Israeli Hebrew, “shavat” means “he struck [went on strike]”.



    • Guest

      Why did you comment in all caps?

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  • Oni

    i’m curisous about the friday definition. The German name for it, Freitag, meaning the Free Day. I’m pretty sure with both German and English being Germanic language that they have the same etymology, thus friday meaning the free day and not reffering to Freya

    • Norse

      The original norse day name was Frjádagr
      My guess would be that the reassemblance to “Freeday”of the German one, derives from the differences of spelling:
      Freja (Danish/Swedish) = Fre-dag
      Freia/Freiya (German) = Frei-tag

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  • Upendra

    My Thought was
    (One’s day) was turned to sunday or Monday
    (two’s day) was turned to Tuesday
    (Four’s day) was turned to Thursday
    (Five day) was turned to Friday

  • Rik

    My thought was

    (We’d like to get over this hump) Wednesday

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  • Harry Elliott

    The Mesopotamians invented the 7-day week ca. 700 BC. They Made Saturn’sday the first day because the considered Saturn to be the top god.

    As the convention spread, Saturday remained the first day until Constantine transferred that honor to Sun’sday because the sun was more widely worshipped in the west.

    Np pre-Constantinian calendar has ever been found that had Saturday as the 7thday of the week, even among Jews, who had no calendar weeks in their culture. Only after Saturday became the 7th day in the fourth century did the Jews began to associate the “7th day” in the sabbath commandment with the 7th day of the week ( instead of merely whatever day happened to follow 6 days of work)

    Even if the Jews had kept an unbroken 7-day cycle before Constantine, (they didn’t), it took the insertion of a single 6-day week to move Saturday from the first day to the seventh day. So much for an unbroken chain of 7-day weeks back to Moses or creation.

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  • Edward

    Veteran’s Day is not Always on a Monday. It is always observed on the eleventh day November. This is done to stay consistent with the signing of the documents that ended World War Two. It sign on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:11 AM. Thus it is ALWAYS observed November 11th.

    • grant

      The end of world war one, not two.

    • Metrell

      Funny…that’s my birthday

    • Rosie

      Thank you so much for correcting that, Edward!! I gnashed my teeth when I read that!! I didn’t march in all of those Veteran’s Day parades in JROTC just for someone to come along as an authority and tell me my proud participation was in error!!

  • Daletto

    The seven day week comes from the seven days of creation and the Sabbath, the 7th day was Sabbath as spoken by God, our creator. This occurred long before Israel and the Jews were appointed by God.

    • Arnold Lee

      I see that everyone has their own version of the making of our planets 7 day cycle, one has stated it to be a God, although which one of the many that were around 2,015 years ago.
      Prior to the ‘Virgin Mary’ what was the religion of the peasants she would socialise with. Obviously not Christianity.

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  • Michael Gill

    Also interesting

    Why are there 12 months in the year?
    Julius Caesar’s astronomers explained the need for 12 months in a year and the addition of a leap year to synchronize with the seasons.
    At the time, there were only ten months in the calendar while there are just over 12 lunar cycles in a year.
    The months of January and February were added to the calendar
    The original fifth and sixth months were renamed July and August in honor of Julius Caesar and his successor Augustus.
    These months were both given 31 days to reflect their importance, having been named after Roman leaders.


    Rule – 30 days has September, April, June and November
    9 + 4 + 6 +11= 30

  • lambswool

    Have none of you read the Holy Bible – Chapters 1 and 2? – The ancient cultures stemmed from the same source, carried the same information. There is God, who claim he founded the 7 day week, and established at the end of his 6 days work, a day for resting, unbounded by the evening and the morning.
    Whatever Babylonian was in place, when the captured the Jews, and instilled them into their society the result for the prime king, Nebuchadnezzar, was the uptaking of the creator God as learned from the Jew named Daniel/Belteshazzar.

  • kriti

    Have you looked into why ancient india had seven days? a week was called ‘saptah’ which translates to collection of seven.
    Also check the time this came up.. perhaps after babylonians or at the same time.

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  • K Shanmugam

    Can any one tell When onwards Hindu adopted the week days? There is no reference of week days such as Sunday,Monday..etc.Not even mentioned in Tamil THIRUKURAL about it

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  • For more information regarding the origin of Saturday or Laugardagr check out the article below. There is some reason to think it originates from the god Loki.


  • Michel

    A very long time ago my father told me that we had seven days weeks because nomads needed to have a day of rest about every 7th day. That’s why in the bible God rest on the 7th day (people don’t rest the 7th day in honour of God, people made God rest the 7th day – and during that resting day, they had time to think about origins and purpose and that’s how religions started). All early communities were nomads around the world, that’s why you’ll find 7 days a week around the world. Don’t know where he got this. But it remains the best explanation I heard so far. In fact it still stands today. We need a day of rest about every 7th day if we don’t want to crash.

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  • Praveen

    Just to give the ignoramus who wrote the article a little taste of the knowledge in ancient India, I paste a part of a wiki write-up on the Indian origins of the names of the days of the week:


    Deleting the leading letter ‘a’ and the trailing ‘tra’ from ‘ahorātra’, one is left with the word horā, and from this horā, another system of measuring time, the ‘Horā System’, introduced in this country by the celebrated Hindu astronomer Varāha Mihira, by dividing a day and night into 24 horās. Many believe that from this Horā System the entire world has adopted the present practice of dividing a day and night into 24 hours and moreover, from Sanskrit horā, English hour, Latin hora and Greek ora (ωρα) have been derived. It is interesting to note here that, one can derive the names of the seven days of a week from this Horā System as well. One has to assume a lord for each horā of the day and Ravivāra is to be accepted as the first day of the week, but counting is to be made in the reverse or descending order and the fourth place gives the name of the following day.
    Seven Days of Week

    Why seven days make a week? And wherefrom the names of these seven days have come? Every Indian will be pleased to know that it is also a gift of India to the entire world. We have seen earlier that, 60 ghaţis or daņdas make one day and night or ahorātra. Indian astronomers dedicated each ghaţi of the day to a planet as its lord and derived the name of the day as per the lord of the first ghaţi of the day.

    The sun or Ravi being the most powerful among the planets, as well as the giver and sustainer of life, has been honoured to be the lord of first ghaţi of the first day of the week. Hence it is named Ravivāra or Sunday. In Figure-1, the lords of second and third ghaţis of Ravivāra are Mars and Jupiter respectively. Proceeding in this manner, Saturn is the lord of the 60th ghaţi of Ravivāra and the moon or Soma becomes the lord of the first ghaţi of the following day and hence it is named Somavāra or Monday (Moonday). One may notice here that in counting 60 ghaţis along the circle of Firure-1, one has to make 8 complete revolutions and 4 more planets and hence starting from a particular planet, the 5th place gives the name of the following day. In this manner one finally arrives at Śanivāra or Saturday (Saturnday) and starting from Śanivāra one observes that the next day is Ravivāra and thus the cycle is completed.

    It may be recalled that the Horā System is not essential for naming he seven days of a week and primarily it was done by the Vedic astronomers dividing a day and night into 60 ghaţis or 60 daņdas. Hence, we may conclude without doubt that, it is the Vedic astronomers who named the seven days of a week using the original Indian system of dividing a day and night into 60 ghaţis and in their subsequent attempt they have shown that, one can arrive at the same results using 24 horās as well. In a verse (1/296) of Yājňavalkya Samhitā, the names of the planets are given exactly in the order of week days and hence there is every reason to believe that the names of the planets in that verse were mentioned particularly as the lords of the seven days of a week. This makes Professor S. B. Dixit to believe that the names of the seven days of a week were known in the times of Yājňavalkya Samhitā.


  • Jews did not have a name for their day’s of the week except fot the Sabbath. The othe days were just numbered. There were holy days which were named after the activity such as “New Moon Day, Day of Unlevened Bread…etc. However, if for any reason you should ask a Jew which day do we keep the Sabbath day this month the answer you would get would be “the same day we kept it last month, the 7th day! And by the way, how did the Jews march around Jericho 7 times on the 7th day without breaking the Sabbath? Making war is work! When you find the answer to that question and if your honest with yourself you will find the true Sabbath. Hint; the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night and for times (holy days) and seasons.

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  • tovangar2

    The days of the week are named after the seven visible planets (“wanderers”) via their associated gods (from whatever pantheon), plus the sun and the moon, all of which move across the sky

    Monday/Moon “fair of face”
    Tuesday/Mars (Tiu) the “graceful” warrior
    Wednesday/Mercury (Odin) He knows too much, so full of “woe”
    Thursday/Jupiter (Thor) “far to go” (throwing lightening bolts)
    Friday/Venus (Frig) “loving and giving”
    Saturday/Saturn “must work for a living” re wealth
    Sunday/Sun “bonnie, blythe and good”

    And yes, the 7-day week is based on each phase of the moon.

  • @Daven-I’m uncertain whether you’ve stopped responding to comments or not, but, I’m suddenly fascinated with the correlation between Saturn, which is heavily associated with the occult, and Saturday as the seventh day Sabbath (which is said to be the true Lord’s day of rest).
    Isn’t it strange that that which is said to be (a) holy (day of rest) is also so linked to the occult’s most notorious planet and its darkest (Satanic) powers?
    Any thoughts?

    • ShilohKB

      There is a great deal of dispute on how the Israelites( before Rome destroyed Jerusalem) counted their days… one theory is that rather than a consistent repetition of 7 days some believe it may have begun anew after the first New Moon of every month. That would mean Israel’s days would never consistently coincide with other’s days of observation.

    • ShilohKB

      Regarding Saturn’s or Satyr’s day (goat-man/Baphomet=Satan)
      There is quite a bit you may be interested in researching. I can give you some “ticklers” .Judaism as practiced largely today is more focused on Kabbalah and the Talmud , rather than the Torah or Word of YHVH/God.
      The Shekinah is a ” feminine spirit” Jews revere (Note Satyr-Baphomet is androgynous having breasts and male attributes)
      The tefillin is a black box/cube they strap on in worship.
      Never instructed in Torah the Black Cube is a symbol for Saturn and you find it in Islam as well at the Kaaba where worshippers also kiss the black stone inside a silver vulva (feminine) as they march around the colossal cube .
      We now have an imprinted black cube stamped in at Ground Zero Memorial in NYC…..that should give you a good start.

  • Crow Girl

    As a practicing polytheist, I would like to point out that both the sun and moon are deities in Norse mythology: Sunna and Mani. Therefore the names of Sunday and Monday are still of divine origin.

    I have recently heard speculation in Heathen circles that Saturday was originally sacred to Hela/Hella/Hel, queen of the underworld realm Helheim. Once the Christians gained ascendency and named their realm of torment Hell, the name of the day was changed (albeit still to that of a chthonic deity). I have not seen the citations for this notion, but it does serve to divide the week a bit more evenly between male and female deities, which is pleasing.

    Also, I believe scholarship leans toward Friday (Frige’s Day) being named for Frigg the wife of Odin and queen of the Aesir, rather than Freya of the Vanir, although the two goddesses are often conflated and the mistake is understandable.

  • Why do Hindus follow a 7-day week and a 15 day lunar cycle simultaneously?

    We follow the Hindu lunar calendar starting from first till – New Moon (Prathama till Amavasya)/ Full Moon day(around 14-15 days ie Poornima), but we also simultaneously follow the 7-day week that is mentioned on western calendars.

    For example, In India people are not supposed to go to a temple (or get a haircut) on Tuesdays. Why do we follow both systems simultaneously? Isn’t the 7-day week originally a western construct?

    6 Answers by Vamsi Emani :

    The 7 day week is not really based on western calendar. Firstly, lets look at how classic predictions ( Jyothish Shastra ) of the Vedas( answers to these questions:

    Why do we have only 7 days in a week? Why can’t we have 8 or 9?
    What is an hour?
    Why do we have only 24 hours in a day? Why can’t we have 30 or 40 units and call it an hour?

    In Ancient Civilization, Indians were so well versed that they often used 4 to 5 different units of time. If you ask your Indian grand mother, she might have told you that during her days, people measured time in a weird unit called ghati/ghadiya (1 ghati = 24 minutes).

    1 day is the time lapsed between two sunrises. Sandhi in sanskrit means knot or junction and hence the junction points are named as pratah sandhya(Early morning) and sayam sandhya (Evening) which divide the standard day into two halves i.e from sunrise to sunset and sunset to the next sunrise. Since there are 12 zodiac constellations, each constellation is assigned a part of the half a day unit and hence 12 parts in half a day each, together 12+12 = 24 units. This is the concept of hora or HOUR. (Yes, hora is the standard hour. English unit of time and Sanskrit unit of time named similarly. Strange coincidence, don’t you think so?) Just as there are constellations associated with each hora, each graha is assigned rulership of individial hora. The order of the planetary rulership of horas is as follows.

    1) Surya (Sun/SUN-DAY) followed by
    2) Shukra (Venus/FRI-DAY) followed by
    3) Budh (Mercury/WEDNES-DAY) followed by
    4) Soma (Moon/MON-DAY) followed by
    5) Shani (Saturn/SATUR-DAY) followed by
    6) Guru (Jupiter/THURS-DAY) followed by
    7) Mangal (Mars/TUES-DAY).

    In iNDIAN Prediction science (jyothish shastra), the rising sign at the time of sunrise is noted down and is considered very important to make any astronomical/astrological calculations regarding a chart, esp. to find out the janma lagna(Birth time), it is is very essential. So, the rising sign is very important. Likewise, the planetary rulership of the hora during the time of sunrise is noted down. The planet that rules the hora at the time of sun rise is assigned the rulership of the whole day. And hence,

    The day Ravi-var (or Sun-day) is named after Ravi/Sun who is assigned lordship of the day because he rules the hora at the time of sunrise of that day. Now, following Sun, the next hour after sunrise is ruled by Shukra followed by the rest. In the above mentioned order of rulership of horas, calculate the next ruling planet that comes after 24 horas, i.e

    1st hour by Ravi, 2nd hour by Shukra, 3rd hour by Budh,
    4th hour by Soma, 5th hour by Shani, 6th hour by Guru,
    7th hour by Mangal,

    8th hour by Ravi, 9th hour by Shukra, 10th hour by Budh,
    11th hour by Soma, 12th hour by Shani, 13th hour by Guru,
    14thth hour by Mangal,

    15th hour by Ravi, 16th hour by Shukra, 17th hour by Budh,
    18th hour by Soma, 19th hour by Shani, 20th hour by Guru,
    21st hour by Mangal,

    22nd hour by Ravi, 23rd hour by Shukra, 24th hour by Budh

    *************End of a day*****************

    25th hour by Soma(moon/Monday)

    As you see it turns out that Soma is the ruler of the next day’s sun rise. And hence,

    the next day Soma-var (or Mon-day) is named after Chandra/Moon who is assigned lordship of the day because he rules the hora at the time of that day’s sunrise. In the same order,

    Mangal-var (Tuesday) for Mangal/Mars being the hora ruler at sunrise,
    Budh-var (Wednesday) for Budha/Mercury being the hora ruler at sunrise,
    Guru-var (Thursday) for Deva Guru Brihaspathi/Jupiter being the hora ruler at sunrise,
    Shukra-var (Friday) for Shukra/Venus being the hora ruler at sunrise,
    Shani-var (Satur-day) for Shani/Saturn being the hora ruler at sunrise,

    Now after Saturday, the cycle reverts to 1) with Surya being the ruler of the hora at the time of next day’s sunrise. This is the reason why there are only 7 days in a week based on these calculations of hora and their planetary rulership as mentioned in the vedic texts.

    One may be a Christian, Muslim, Sikh or Jew, knowingly or unknowingly they follow the methods of the ancient Indian rishis. This is the reason why Hindu dharma is called Ancient Indian Civilisation Principles-ie called as Sanatana dharma (i.e eternal and expansive in its very nature). It is funny how the whole world believes that the 7 day week is a western concept!

    Related Questions
    More Answers Below

    On what basis does particular god given each day of a week..?
    Why won’t Hindus eat meat on alternate days in a week?
    Each day of a week is dedicated to a particular god. It is often said that one has to suspend a thing that day whereas he/she can do the same …
    Why do a lot of born Hindus call themselves atheists these days?
    How did the seven-day week come into the Indian system? When did Indian gods start liking a day for themselves?

    Nitin Bokde
    Nitin Bokde
    Vamsi Emani has given very good details of Jyotish,

    Why hours are so important as part of human body

    The Horas etc. But, would like to add how it is related to human body, the Lunar cycle, 12 month, 24 hrs connection.

    I will touch upon just the surface.Real details are available in Indian Meditation /Biological Sciences called as Patanjal Yogasutram, Hatayoga-Pradipika, Bramhavaivartapurana, Tamil Thirumanthiram, Shrimadbhagavadpurana and above all the human biological cycles you already know. Some people can observe subtle & distinct cycles in body everyday in 24 hrs if they do Nadishodhan(Nerves prediction sciences ) and some Pranayama(Breathing- Hale / inhale) practices as per my own experience.

    Why there are 12 months & Lunar cycle? It is for the same reason that you have 12 Major Music Scales-chords and 12 Minor scales- chords in Music equivalent of Raagas (total 24). In music you have 7 white keys and 5 black keys making them 12 in Piano, Harmonium and same sharp, flat concept exists in Guitar. There too you have definite Harmonics calculation that is recognized by every human Body.

    If 1st key of piano is 400 Hz, then 2nd key is 400 X 2 ^(2/12)=449 Hz and the 12th is 400 x 2^(12/12)=800Hz. So, Music has zodiac dependence as appreciated by human brain. The same is true about number of colours that is appreciated by brain (7–ROYGBIV–Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).

    Pls follow the details:-

    1. Female Biological cycle-Menstrual cycle is based on Lunar and it repeats about 12 times in a year periodically.A perfectly healthy body would repeat cycle exactly on the same Tithi (lunar day-lunar position w.r.t that lady)
    2. Hence, the whole sphere around earth or rather a person (Jyotish term-Jatak- english term-subject) is divided in 12 Zodiacs and hence 12 months.
    3.Every person on earth travels through 12 zodiacs everyday with earth rotation.
    4.Every Zodiac has Lunar half and solar Half in laymen language.Hence there are 24 parts of the spatial arrangement around everybody throughout the day.
    5. In everyday travel from one part to other, Airflow of breathing changes nostrils-swara 24 times in day from Left to Right or vice-versa & other nostril getting partially closed.That is why we have two nostrils.The left-Lunar nostril when blowing full-open, it cause all cooling mechanisms of body and if remains open unchanged continuously for 20days, person will die of cold diseases such as Pneumonia. The Right nostril-SOLAR Nostril when blowing full-open, it activates all the heating mechanisms of the body such as metabolism.20 days principle is applicable for this too and in this case person dies of heat related diseases such as Heat stroke etc. (Ref-Patanjal Yogasutram). So, every alternate hour (60 minutes), body changes from heating to cooling or vice versa carrying out all body functions and maintaining body temperature.This is called Intermittent Split Range system of control in Industrial Engineering Process control.

    6.Hence there are 24 hrs in a day.All the nadi-shodhan pranayam-Nostrial tuning exercise are done when Sun is at the Top,Below, east horizon (rising), west horizon-setting. Plaese check details at -Nasal cycle

    A CT scan showing evidence of the nasal cycle. The more patent airway is on the right; the swollen turbinates congesting the left.
    7.Detailed 15 day Nostril Changeover chart is reproduced below which tells you why 15day lunar cycle?

    8. As there are only 9 Grahas which actually affect-control human biological cycles, Jyotish needed only zero & additional nine digits (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) devising the Decimal numeral system to model the whole jyotish.You all know decimal Number system is the one that is exhaustively used globally.

    This is very brief just to tell you why there are 24hrs in a day, 7 days in week, 12 months in an year.

  • Just what if the week is off 24 hours then Monday is first and Sunday is last? It has been shuffled around a couple times in the last 2000 years. or do we just need to rest one day of the week?