Pagan Names for the Days of the Week

1. Sunday (day of the sun) is the first day of the week. Its English name and its German name (Sonntag) are derived from the Latin dies solis, “sun’s day,” the name of a pagan Roman holiday. Sunday is called the Lord’s Day (Dominica in the Latin version) and in Romance languages (French Dimanche; Italian Domenica; Spanish Domingo; Roman Duminica). Sunday was instituted as a day of rest for the Roman Empire, NOT Christians, by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Since the 4th century, ecclesiastical and civil legislation controlled by the Roman Catholic Church has frequently regulated work on Sunday and service attendance.

2. Monday (day of the moon) is the second day of the week, derived from the Anglo-Saxon monandaeg, which means “the moon’s day.” Its Latin equivalent is dies lunae, or “day of the moon.” For the Anglo-Saxons the second day was sacred to the goddess of the moon. In German the second day is Montag, in French lundi, and in Italian lunedì.

3. Tuesday (Tyr’s day) is the third day of the week, named for the Norse god of war, Tiu, or Tyr, the son of Odin, or Woden. It is called tisdag in Sweden, Tirsdag in Denmark. The Romans honored their god of war, Mars, by naming the third day for him (dies Martis), and in France the day is mardi, in Italy martedì, and in Spain martes. In Germany it is Dienstag, originally meaning “assembly day.” It is called yom shlishi in (Ibriy) Hebrew, meaning “third day.”

4. Wednesday (Woden’s day) is the fourth day of the week, named to honor Odin, or Woden, chief god in Norse mythology. In Sweden and Denmark, the day is Onsdag, from its Norse original. The Romans honored their god Mercury by naming the fourth day for him, in Latin, dies Mercurii. Languages of Latin origin retain the root: French, mercredi; Spanish, miércoles; and Italian, mercoledì. The Germans call the day Mittwoch, meaning “mid-week.” In Ibriy it is the equivalent of fourth day.

5. Thursday (Thor’s day) is named for Thor who in Norse mythology is the god of thunder, eldest son of Odin, ruler of the gods, and Jord, the earth goddess. Thor was the strongest of the Aesir, the chief gods, whom he helped protect from their enemies, the giants. He had a magic hammer, which he threw with the aid of iron gloves and which always returned to him. Thunder was supposed to be the sound of the rolling of his chariot.

6. Friday (Frigg’s day) is named for Frigg or Frigga who in Norse mythology is the goddess of the sky and wife of Odin, the chief of the gods. She was worshipped as the goddess of darkness, who killed Balder with a mistletoe sprig. In German mythology, Frigg was sometimes identified with Freya, the goddess of love.

7. Saturday (Saturn’s day) is the seventh day of the week, named in honor of the Roman god Saturn. In Latin, Saturday was called dies Saturni; it was called Sater-daeg by the Anglo-Saxons. It is the rest day of the Yisra’eliy and in Ibriy is called Shabbath. The word shabbath derives from the Ibriy word meaning “to rest or cease, intermission”; the Yisra’eliy were enjoined from working on the seventh day. It begins at sunset the sixth day and lasts until sunset the seventh day. In Sweden Saturday is Lördag, or Lord’s Day; and in Denmark and Norway it is Lørdag. In Spanish it is el sábado and in Italian sabato, both derived from sabbath.