Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Start and End of the Week

There seems to be plenty of disagreement both between different religions and also between different countries as to exactly what day a week starts and ends on. Why there needs to be such disagreements I don’t know since the very way in which the names were first allocated to the days of the week makes it extremely clear which day is first and which last.

When the Babylonians first introduced the seven day week they knew of seven ‘planets’ and they decided to name the days of the week after those ‘planets’. They didn’t just name them at random though even though the method that they chose for allocating them appears random. What they actually did was to allocate one planet to each hour of each day of the week in order from the slowest moving (Saturn) to the fastest moving (the Moon), repeating the process 24 times so as to allocate a planet to each of the 168 hours in the week. The planet allocated to the first hour of each day was then used to provide a name for that day.

The very names of the days of the week therefore mean that the week starts on Saturday.

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