Butterfly searching for a relax
Pulling from the jazz stacks cause it's Sunday
On the air is incense, sounds to the ceiling
Tried to get this feeling since Monday
(Pacifics, Digable Planets)
Before written history, and before using any structure or tool to measure the passing of time, days started at sunrise.
But we are curious mammalfellows (amongst other things), so we changed that.
In ancient Europe, the Greeks used a ten-day cycle (decades
), whereas under the rule of the Roman Empire, an eight-day sequence (nundinae
) was the custom; the inherent timekeeping cycles of Germanic tribes are unknown. The origin of our present seven-day week (originally only one day sanctioned to rest in each cycle), we find elsewhere.
The concept of a week, as we know it today by international agreement, comes from the time when gods and titans were still fighting on the surface of this planet; then came panem et circenses, now we have movies and popcorn.
The Babylonian calendar (evidence found from the 9th century BCE) was based on the lunar month, and thus had four seven-day cycles, and is known to have had days of bad luck (7th, 14th, 21st, 28th), on which people refrained from activities such as travelling, or religious rituals like healing. After finishing one period, one or two extra days (as work or rest) were added.
Under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, the Neo-Babylonian Empire sent the people of Judea in exile. The Bereshit, or Book of Genesis, is likely to have reached its current structure during this period.
The Julian Calendar introduced the seven-day week to the Roman Empire in 46 BC (took effect in 45 BC). In 321 CE, Emperor Constantine claimed dies Solis as the official day of inactivity.
In ancient China and Egypt a ten-day week was used.
Mesoamerican cultures had their independently developed systems.
So, what about the word, week
? All along talking about and walking around in it, but not a single detail on its origins. The Old English wucu
, from a base probably meaning sequence, changing, or succession originally, is the likely root of the word, related to the German Woche
and Dutch week
The seven-day week was brought to Rome from Egypt, and Germanic tribes adopted the system, naming the days after their own divinities.
In 321 CE, Emperor Constantine claimed dies Solis as the official day of inactivity.
Sunday is, perhaps, the easiest guess, when it comes to etymology.
The Old English Sunnandæg literally meant sun’s day, which development followed suit of other Germanic languages; e.g. søndag in Danish and Norwegian, zondag in Dutch .
In most Slavic languages, the term translates to no-work, e.g. Niedziela (Polish), Nedelja (Bulgarian); in Russian it literally means resurrection, i.e. Voskresyenye.
In Arabic and Hebrew it is called the first (day).
The Greek: Κυριακή, Kiriakí comes from Κύριος, Kyrios, Lord - Lord’s day.
Literal translation of Xing’qi’tian, the pinjin of the Mandarin Chinese word for Sunday, is week-sky.
Both in Korean and Japanese, the name refers to sun day.
Aditya and Ravi, both being a form or address of Surya, the sun, are the roots for the name.
For dwellers of the Carpathian Basin and the wider Central-Eastern Europe, it is the given day for family and rest. A mai vasárnapon (On this Sunday), we went to a restaurant with Grandma; something we haven’t done for a long time.
The Hungarian word comes from the tradition of the Sunday market; vásár - market; nap - day. Imagine the shops being open on Sundays only, strictly near the church.
Szép álmokat (sweet dreams, lindos sueños)!