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Friday ( or ) is the day after Thursday which precedes Saturday. In countries adopting Monday-first conventions as recommended by the international standard ISO 8601, it is the fifth day of the week. It is the sixth day in countries that adopt a Sunday-first convention, as in the Abrahamic tradition. In other countries (see workweek and weekend), Friday is the first day of the weekend, with Saturday the second. In Afghanistan and Iran, Friday is the last day of the weekend, with Saturday as the first day of the working week. Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait also followed this convention until they changed to a Friday–Saturday weekend, on 1 September 2006 in Bahrain and UAE,[1] and a year later in Kuwait.[2] In Iran, Friday is the only weekend day.


  • Etymology 1
  • Folklore 2
  • Religious observances 3
  • Astrology 4
  • Named days 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Frigg spinning the clouds, by John Charles Dollman

The name Friday comes from the Old English Frīġedæġ, meaning the "day of Frigg", a result of an old convention associating the Old English goddess Frigg with the Roman goddess Venus, with whom the day is associated in many different cultures. The same holds for Frīatag in Old High German, Freitag in Modern German and vrijdag in Dutch.

The expected cognate name in Old Norse would be *friggjar-dagr. However, the name of Friday in Old Norse is frjá-dagr instead, indicating a loan of the weekday names from Low German.[3] The modern Scandinavian form is Fredag in Swedish, Norwegian and Danish, meaning Freja's day. The distinction between Freja and Frigg in some Germanic mythologies is problematic.

Friday is associated in many cultures with the love goddess Venus, and the planet named for her.

The word for Friday in most Romance languages is derived from Latin dies Veneris or "day of Venus" (a translation of Greek Aphrodites hemera) such as vendredi in French, venerdì in Italian, viernes in Spanish, divendres in Catalan, vennari in Corsican, and vineri in Romanian. This is also reflected in the p-Celtic Welsh language as dydd Gwener. An exception is Portuguese, also a Romance language, which uses the word sexta-feira, meaning "sixth day of liturgical celebration", derived from the Latin "feria sexta" used in religious texts where it was not allowed to consecrate days to pagan gods.

Sardinian chenàpura figures as an exception among all the other Romance languages, since it is derived from Latin cena pura: this name had been given by the Jewish community exiled to the island in order to designate the food specifically prepared for Shabbat eve.[4]

In modern Greek, four of the words for the weekdays derived from ordinals. However, the Greek word for Friday is Paraskevi (Παρασκευή) and is derived from a word meaning "to prepare" (παρασκευάζω). Like Saturday (Savvato, Σάββατο) and Sunday, (Kyriaki, Κυριακή), Friday is named for its liturgical significance, as the day of preparation before Sabbath, which was inherited by Greek Christian Orthodox culture from Jewish practices.

Most Slavic languages call Friday the "fifth (day)": Belarusian пятніца – pyatnitsa, Bulgarian петък – petŭk, Czech pátek, Polish piątek, Russian пятница – pyatnitsa, Serbian петак – petak, Croatian petak, Slovene petek, Slovak piatok, and Ukrainian п'ятниця – p'yatnitsya. The Hungarian word péntek is a loan from some Slavic language from the time it still had the [n] sound in the word.

In Arabic, Friday is الجمعة al-jum`ah, from a root meaning "congregation/gathering." In languages of Islamic countries outside the Arab world, the word for Friday is commonly a derivation of this (Indonesian jumat, Malay jumaat, Turkish cuma).

In most of the Indian languages, Friday is Shukravar (or a derived variation of Sukravar), named for Shukra, the Sanskrit name of the planet Venus.

In Japanese, 金曜日 (きんようび kinyōbi) is formed from the words 金星 (きんせい kinsei) meaning Venus (lit. gold + planet) and 曜日 (ようび yōbi) meaning day (of the week).

In the Korean language, it is 금요일 in Korean Hangul writing, (Romanization: geumyoil), as is pronounced of the written word 金曜日 in Chinese characters same as in Japanese.

In the Nahuatl language, Friday is Quetzalcōātōnal (Nahuatl pronunciation: ) meaning "day of Quetzalcoatl".


In some cultures, Friday is considered unlucky. This is particularly so in maritime circles; perhaps the most enduring sailing superstition is that it is unlucky to begin a voyage on a Friday.[5][6] In the 19th century Admiral William Henry Smyth, writing in his nautical lexicon The Sailor's Word-Book, described Friday as

(Dies Infaustus means "unlucky day".[8]) This superstition is the root of the well-known urban legend of HMS Friday.

In modern times, Friday the 13th is considered to be especially unlucky, due to the conjunction of Friday with the unlucky number thirteen. Such a Friday may be called a "Black Friday".

However, this superstition is not universal, notably in Scottish Gaelic culture:

"Though Friday has always been held an unlucky day in many Christian countries, still in the Hebrides it is supposed that it is a lucky day for sowing the seed. Good Friday in particular is a favourite day for potato planting—even strict Roman Catholics make a point of planting a bucketful on that day. Probably the idea is that as the Resurrection followed the Crucifixion, and Burial so too in the case of the seed, and after death will come life."[9]

In astrology, Friday is connected with the planet Venus. It is also connected with the Astrological signs Libra and Taurus.

Religious observances

In Islam, Friday (from sundown Thursday to sundown Friday, simpler than midnight to midnight in a pre-clock age) corresponds to Sunday in Christianity and Saturday (Friday evening to Saturday evening) in Judaism and Sabbatarian Christianity, as a holy day. Friday observance includes attendance at a mosque for congregation prayer or Salat AlJumu'ah. As well as a day of rest it is considered a day of peace and mercy (see Jumu'ah).

Muslim Friday prayer at a mosque in Malaysia

According to some Islamic traditions, the day is stated to be the original holy day ordained by God, but that now Jews and Christians recognize the days after.[10][11] In some Islamic countries, the week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday, just like the Jewish week and the week in some Christian countries. In most other Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Iran the week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday. Friday is also the day of rest in the Bahá'í Faith.[12]

In Christianity Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.

Traditionally, Roman Catholics were obliged to refrain from eating the meat of land animals on Fridays, although fish was allowed. However, episcopal conferences are now authorized to allow some other form of penance to replace abstinence from meat. Many still choose the traditional form of Friday penance.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law states:

Canon 1250. The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Canon 1251. Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Canon 1253. The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.[13]

Most Anglicans (particularly Anglo-Catholics) also practice abstinence either on all Fridays or on Fridays in Lent. More generally, traditional Anglican Prayer Books prescribe weekly Friday abstinence for all Anglicans.[14][15]

The Eastern Orthodox Church continues to observe Fridays (as well as Wednesdays) as fast days throughout the year (with the exception of several fast-free periods during the year). Fasting on Fridays entails abstinence from meat or meat products (i.e., four-footed animals), poultry and dairy products (though fish is permitted). Unless a feast day occurs on a Friday, the Orthodox also abstain from using oil in their cooking and from alcoholic beverages (there is some debate over whether abstention from oil involves all cooking oil or only olive oil). For the Orthodox, Fridays throughout the year commemorate the Crucifixion of Christ and the Theotokos (Mother of God), especially as she stood by the foot of the cross. There are hymns in the Octoekhos which reflect this liturgically. These include Theotokia (hymns to the Mother of God) which are chanted on Wednesdays and Fridays called Stavrotheotokia ("Cross-Theotokia"). The dismissal at the end of services on Fridays begin with the words: "May Christ our true God, through the power of the precious and life-giving cross...."

Quakers traditionally refer to Friday as "Sixth Day" eschewing the pagan origins of the name. In Slavic countries, it is called "Fifth Day" (Polish piątek, Russian пятницаpyatnitsa).

In Hinduism, Special observances are practiced for goddesses, mainly for Goddess Durga and Lakshmi on Friday.

Jewish Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday and lasts until nightfall on Saturday. There is a Jewish custom to fast on the Friday of the week of Chukat. In Thailand, the color associated with Friday is blue, see Thai solar calendar.


Friday is associated with the planet Venus and symbolized by that planet's symbol .

Named days

  • Good Friday is the Friday before Easter in the Christian calendar. It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.
  • Black Friday refers to any one of several historical disasters that happened on Fridays, and, in a general sense, to any Friday the 13th.
  • In the United States, Black Friday is also the nickname of the day after Thanksgiving, the first day of the traditional Christmas shopping season.
  • Casual Friday (also called Dress-down Friday or Aloha Friday) is a relaxation of the formal dress code employed by some corporations for that one day of the week.
  • POETS Day is a term used by workers in the United Kingdom and Australia to refer to Friday being the last day of the work week. It commonly stands for Piss Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday.[16]


  1. ^ Bahrain changes the weekend in efficiency drive
  2. ^ Kuwait Changes to Friday-Saturday Weekend
  3. ^ Hermann Paul, Grundriss der germanischen philologie, vol 3, 1900, p. 369.
  4. ^ Sa limba sarda (article written in Italian)
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Vigor, John (2004), The Practical Encyclopedia of Boating, McGraw-Hill Professional,  
  7. ^  
  8. ^ "dies infaustus"Merriam-Webster Online, . Retrieved 2008-09-27. 
  9. ^  
  10. ^ Al-Bukhari II.13.1
  11. ^ Hava Lazarus-Yafeh. "Muslim Festivals". Numen 25.1 (1978), p. 60
  12. ^  
  13. ^ Code of Canon Law: Days of Penance
  14. ^ Tables and Rules
  15. ^ Days of Fasting, Abstinence and Solemn Prayer, Book of Common Prayer, Canada (1962)
  16. ^ POETS DAY h2g2

External links

The dictionary definition of Friday at Wiktionary

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