A week is a unit of time. It refers to a period of seven days. Unlike other units of time, the week has no astronomical basis. It is an arbitrary division of the year, be it solar or lunar. The concept of a seven day week is thought to have originated with the ancient Jews and the biblical account of creation, which holds that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. However the concept most likely diffused to the Jewish tradition from Mesopotamia. The Sumerians one of the peoples of southern Mesopotamia) divided a year into seven day weeks. One of the days was designated for recreation.
The Babylonians named the days of the week according to the 5 planetary bodies known to them and one day each for the sun and the moon. The Emperor Constantine of Rome adopted the same system and the days of the week were dedicated to the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. In many languages of the world the world days are still dedicated to the sun, the moon and Saturn. The other day’s names have changed according to regional influences.
FACT 1: Monday is considered the first day of the week according to the International Standard ISO 8601. In most parts of the world it is the day when adults go back to work after the weekend break. It is also the start of the school week. If the Biblical story of creation is considered the origin of the week, then Monday is the first day as God rested on the last day, Sunday.
FACT 2: If the planetary bodies are to be considered as the origin of the names of the week days then the day of the Sun would obviously eclipse the day of the Moon and Sunday would precede Monday.
FACT 3: The name Monday comes from the old English words meaning Moon Day. In India, Monday is Somvar. In Sanskrit, Soma is one of the manes of the Moon God. In some regions of India, Monday is Chandravara. Chandra is the Sanskrit word for moon. In Thailand it is Wan Jan, the day of the moon god.
FACT 4: Monday is a controversial day. It could be the first day of the week or the second. It is considered a terrible day by many and a good day by some. Its position as the first day of the working week has led to many people considering it a dreaded day. In Judaism and Islam, it is a good day for fasting. The Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates angels on Mondays.
FACT 5: Regardless of its position as first or second day, Monday is the day after Sunday and the day before Tuesday in the Gregorian calendar.
FACT 6: Saint Monday was celebrated in the UK in the olden days. Agricultural work did not permit days of leisure .People therefore indulged in spells of intense work followed by spells of intense enjoyment on one day of the week. They called this day Saint Monday.
FACT 7: Blue Mondays is thought to refer to the mood of working people or students on a Monday morning. Actually Blue Monday originated in the days when clothes were washed with a blue dye on Mondays.
FACT 8: Monday is considered the worst day of the week by some. Many songs reflect this sentiment. ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ by the Boomtown Rats is one of them.
FACT 9: Much humour is centred on Monday’s position as the first working day of the week. Some poster lines include ‘Keep calm and pretend it’s not Monday, or ‘It’s Monday but it’s OK’ and ‘At least Mondays come only once a week’.
FACT 10: In many countries Easter Monday is celebrated with a variety of non-religious activities like egg rolling and dousing each other with water. In Egypt Easter Monday is a national rather than a religious holiday. It is celebrated by both Christians and Muslims.