Saturday: Wikis


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Saturnus, Caravaggio, 16th c.

Saturday (pronounced /ˈsætərdeɪ/ in the United States or /ˈsætədɪ/  ( listen) in England ) is the day of the week between Friday and Sunday. Saturday is considered either the sixth or seventh day of the week.

It was named no later than the second century for the planet (Saturn),[citation needed] which controlled the first hour of that day according to Vettius Valens. The planet was named for the Roman god of agriculture Saturn (Latin Saturnus). It has been called dies Saturni ("Saturn's Day"), through which form it entered into Old English as Sæternesdæg and gradually evolved into the word "Saturday".

Saturday is the only day of the week in which the English name comes from Roman mythology. The English names of all of the other days of the week come from Germanic polytheism. In India, Saturday is Shanivar, based on Shani, the Vedic god manifested in the planet Saturn. In the Thai solar calendar of Thailand, the day is named from the Pali word for Saturn, and the color associated with Saturday is purple. The Celtic languages also name this day for Saturn: Irish an Satharn or dia Sathuirn, Scottish Gaelic Disathairne, Welsh dydd Sadwrn, Breton Sadorn or disadorn.

In Jewish Law, Saturday is the seventh day, Shabbat. Thus, in many languages the Saturday is named after the Sabbath. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches distinguish between Saturday (Sabbath) and the Lord's Day (Sunday). Some Protestants call Sunday the Sabbath (see Sabbath in Christianity). Quakers traditionally refer to Saturday as "Seventh Day", eschewing the "pagan" origin of the name. In Islamic countries, Fridays are holidays, but they are considered as the sixth day of the week.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church Saturdays are days on which the Theotokos (Mother of God) and All Saints are commemorated, The day is also a general day of prayer for the dead, because it was on a Saturday that Jesus lay dead in the tomb. The Octoechos contains hymns on these themes, arranged in an eight-week cycle, that are chanted on Saturdays throughout the year. At the end of services on Saturday, the dismissal begins with the words: "May Christ our True God, through the intercessions of his most-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and right victorious Martyrs, of our reverend and God-bearing Fathers…". For the Orthodox, Saturday--with the sole exception of Holy Saturday--is never a strict fast day. When a Saturday falls during one of the fasting seasons (Great Lent, Nativity Fast, Apostles' Fast, Dormition Fast) the fasting rules are always lessened to an extent. The Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist are normally observed as strict fast days, but if they fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the fast is lessened.

In Scandinavian countries, Saturday is called Lördag or Laurdag, the name being derived from the old word laugr/laug (hence Icelandic name Laugardagur), meaning bath, thus Lördag equates to bath-day. This is due to the Viking practice of bathing on Saturdays.

Today, Saturday is officially called Samstag in all German-speaking countries, but there it has two names in modern Standard German. Samstag is always used in Austria, Liechtenstein, and the German speaking part of Switzerland, and generally used in southern and western Germany. It derives from Old High German sambaztac, which itself derives from Greek Σάββατο, and this Greek word derives from Hebrew שבת (Shabbat). However, the current German word for sabbath is Sabbat. The second name for Saturday in German is Sonnabend, which derives from Old High German sunnunaband, and is closely related to the Old English word sunnanæfen. It means literally "Sun eve", i.e., "The day before Sunday". Sonnabend is generally used in northern and eastern Germany, and was also the official name for Saturday in East Germany. In the Westphalian dialects of Low Saxon, in East Frisian Low Saxon and in the Saterland Frisian language, Saturday is called Satertag, also akin to Dutch Zaterdag, which has the same linguistic roots as the English word Saturday.

All Slavic languages derive their name for Saturday from the name for the Sabbath: (Czech/Slovak/Polish/Slovene: sobota; Russian: суббота subbota, Serbian/Ukrainian субота subota).[citation needed] A similar numbering trend is also exhibited by the Baltic languages.[citation needed]

Similarly, the Romance languages follow the Greek usage, so that their word for "Saturday" is also a variation on "Sabbath": the Italian is sabato, the French is samedi, the Spanish and Portuguese is sábado and the Romanian is sâmbătă.

The modern Maori name for it, Rahoroi, literally means "washing-day" - a vestige of early colonized life when Māori converts would set aside time on the Saturday to wash their whites for Church on Sunday. A common alternative Māori name for Saturday is the transliteration Hatarei. For other languages, see Days of the week Planetary table.

The Chinese-based Korean word for Saturday is 토요일 (To-Yo-Il [meaning: Earth - day]) from the Chinese character meaning Earth, or Ground.


Position in the week

The international standard ISO 8601 sets Saturday as the sixth day of the week. The three Abrahamic religions, via their original languages, regard Saturday as the seventh day of the week (Judaism via Hebrew, Christianity via Ecclesiastical Latin, and Islam via Arabic) by naming Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as the second through sixth days of the week. This is concordant with the European Pagan tradition, which named the days of the week after the seven Classical planets (in order Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn), naming the first day of the week for the Sun, perceived as most important, and moving to those perceived as lesser.


  • Saturday is a weekend day in most countries (see Workweek).
  • Saturday is the official day of rest in Israel, on which all government offices and most businesses, including some public transportation, are closed
  • Saturday is the usual day for elections in Australia and the only day in New Zealand on which elections can be held, and also the preferred election day in the U.S. state of Louisiana.
  • In many countries where Sundays are holidays, Saturday is part of the weekend, and is traditionally a day of relaxation.
  • Saturday morning is a notable television time block aimed at children while airing generally animated cartoons.
  • It is common for clubs, bars and restaurants to be open later on Saturday night than on other nights. Thus "Saturday Night" has come to imply the party scene, and has lent its name to the films Saturday Night Fever, which showcased New York discotheques, Uptown Saturday Night, as well as many songs (see below).
  • Saturday night is also a popular time slot for comedy shows on television. The most famous of these is Saturday Night Live, a skit show that has aired on NBC nearly every week since 1975. Other notable examples include Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. This practise lent its name to the film Mr. Saturday Night, starring Billy Crystal.
  • In folklore, Saturday was the preferred day to hunt vampires, because on that day they were restricted to their coffins. It was also believed in the Balkans that someone born on Saturday could see a vampire when it was otherwise invisible, and that such people were particularly apt to become vampire hunters.[1][2] Accordingly, in this context, people born on Saturday were specially designated as sabbatianoí in Greek[3] and sâbotnichavi in Bulgarian[2]; the term has been rendered in English as "Sabbatarians".[3]
  • The amount of criminal activities that take place on Saturday nights has led to the expression, "Saturday night special" a pejorative slang term used in the United States and Canada for any inexpensive handgun.
  • The Australian Football League Grand Final is traditionally held on the last Saturday in September. Saturday afternoon (2:10pm) is also the traditional timeslot for an Australian Rules football match, although modern television schedules and other factors mean there are now many other timeslots in which games are played as well as on Saturday afternoons.
  • A large majority of football league games are played in the UK on a Saturday.
  • In Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada the Holiday 'Good Saturday' is celebrated by everybody giving a cake to each other
  • One of the remains of religious segregation in the Netherlands is seen in amateur football: The Saturday-clubs are by and large Protestant Christian clubs, who were not allowed to play on Sunday. The Sunday-clubs were in general Catholic and working class clubs, whose players had to work on Saturday and therefore could only play on Sunday.
  • Saturday is the usually day to test Warning Sirens at noon, sometimes weekly, or monthly. It usually corresponds with church bells that ring every hour.

Saturday in popular culture

Named days

See also


  1. ^ McClelland, Bruce A. (2006). Slayers and Their Vampires: A Cultural History of Killing the Dead. University of Michigan. pp. 62–79. ISBN 9780472069231. 
  2. ^ a b Димитрова, Иваничка (1983). "Българска народна митология" (in Bulgarian). 
  3. ^ a b Abbott, George F. (1903). Macedonian Folklore. pp. 221–222.  In Summers, Montague (2008) [1929]. The Vampire: His Kith and Kin. Forgotten Books. p. 36. 


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has articles on:





Old English Sæternesdæg (day of Saturn), from Sætern (Saturn), from Latin Saturnus (the god of agriculture), possibly from Etruscan, + Old English dæg (day); a translation of Latin dies Saturni


  • (UK) IPA: /ˈsætədeɪ/, SAMPA: /"s{t@deI/ or IPA: /ˈsætədi/, SAMPA: /"s{t@di/
  • (US) enPR: săʹtər-dā, IPA: /ˈsætɚdeɪ/, SAMPA: /"s{t@`deI/ or enPR: săʹtər-di, IPA: /ˈsætɚdi/, SAMPA: /"s{t@`di/
  •  Audio (US)help, file

Proper noun



Saturday (plural Saturdays)

  1. The seventh day of the week in the USA, and the sixth day of the week in Europe and in systems using the ISO 8601 norm; the Biblical seventh day of the week, observed as Sabbath or "Day of Rest"; it follows Friday and precedes Sunday.

Usage notes

As with the other days of the week, Saturday is often used as a common noun. As a proper noun, it refers collectively to the day across all weeks:

Saturday is my favorite day of the week.

As a common noun, it refers in the singular to any one Saturday, or in the plural to a set of Saturdays:

Let’s get together on the Saturday after next.
There are only two Saturdays left before your birthday.

Derived terms

  • Black Saturday
  • Dynamite Saturday
  • Easter Saturday
  • Egg Saturday
  • first Saturday devotions
  • Holy Saturday
  • Hospital Saturday
  • Little Saturday
  • Pink Saturday
  • Sat, Sat.
  • Saturday closing
  • Saturdaying
  • Saturdayite
  • Saturday-night
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Saturday penny
  • Saturday pops
  • Saturdays
  • Saturday-sabbatharian
  • Saturday-to-Monday
  • Third Saturday in October



Saturday (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. on Saturday


Simple English

In some countries, like the United States of America, Saturday is the seventh day of the week. In other parts of the world Saturday is said to be the sixth day of the week. It is also the day of worship for Jewish people. Along with Sunday, it makes up the weekend. Its name comes from the Roman God Saturn.

Days of the Week
Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday

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