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The Meaning Behind the Days of the Week and Their Names

 Have you ever wondered about the days of the week and why they have such strange names? Across the Africa and the Middle East, Slavic-speaking countries and Greece, the days are simply named “first”, “second”, etc. or given a name that describes their position within the week, such as “middle”. Why isn’t this the case in English?​ Drag your mouse over the icons in the picture to find out the meaning of each name and the story behind it.

As in many other things, it all begins in Rome. The Romans were great fans of giving fancy names to everything, and the more, the merrier. With the days of the week, they decided to name each day after a celestial object and the God associated with it: the sun, the moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.

As the Romans met other people, such as the Saxons and Goths, they had a tendency to draw parallels between their deities and the Germanic pantheon, which resulted in the Germanic people adopting the same week, translating the name of the Gods with their own. If they hadn’t, our week would probably look like this: Sunday, Monday, Marday, Mercreday, Joviday, Venday and Saturday. Who are these gods the days are named after and what’s their story anyway?

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