Mondays are the start of the work week for many people around the world. But have you ever wondered where the name “Monday” comes from and what it means? As it turns out, Monday has an interesting history and origin story.
The Origins of the Names of the Days of the Week
The names of the days of the week in English are based on the names used by the Romans in ancient times. The Romans named the days of the week after the seven celestial bodies known to them – the Sun, the Moon, and the five planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Here is how each day got its name:
- Sunday – Named after the Sun
- Monday – Named after the Moon
- Tuesday – Named after Mars (Martis in Latin)
- Wednesday – Named after Mercury (Mercurii in Latin)
- Thursday – Named after Jupiter (Jovis in Latin)
- Friday – Named after Venus (Veneris in Latin)
- Saturday – Named after Saturn
So Monday was named after the Moon, which is why in Spanish it is called “Lunes” coming from the word “Luna” meaning Moon. In Latin, the word for Moon was “Luna” and the word for day was “Dies”. So Monday was called “Dies Lunae” meaning “Day of the Moon”.
The Moon in Mythology and Culture
The Moon has been an integral part of mythologies and cultures around the world since ancient times. Here are some interesting facts about the Moon’s significance:
- The crescent moon was the symbol of the Moon Goddess in ancient Mesopotamian religions.
- In Greek and Roman mythology, the Moon was personified as various goddesses such as Selene, Artemis, Diana.
- The Moon is important in Wicca witchcraft and modern Paganism, representing the Divine Feminine.
- In Hinduism, festivals are timed according to the lunar calendar.
- In Chinese culture, the Moon symbolizes Yin energy and in Japan it represents enlightened wisdom.
- The Moon has importance in Islam as the crescent moon and star symbol is found on many flags of Islamic countries.
Given the Moon’s cultural and mythological significance, having a day of the week named after it seems very appropriate. The planet that rules emotions, instincts, and the unconscious mind being immortalized every week with Moonday or Monday!
The Significance of Monday as the Start of the Working Week
In many parts of the world, Monday marks the start of the working week for office workers, labor industries, schools and universities. Some key reasons why Monday became established as the start of the work week:
- Judeo-Christian tradition considers Sunday as the day of rest, so Monday naturally becomes the start of the working period.
- The international standard ISO 8601 formatted Monday as the first day of the week, influencing many calendars.
- Labor movements in the late 19th century successfully campaigned for a shorter working week with Saturday afternoon and Sundays off.
While there have been attempts to move the start of the work week to Sunday in some companies and calendars, Monday remains the firmly established first day for business, education and work culture in most societies around the world today.
Interesting Facts and Statistics About Mondays
Mondays get a bad rap as being the least favorite day of the week for many people. But there are some fascinating facts and figures related to Mondays that show their significance:
- The word “Monday” occurs over 330,000 times in books according to Google’s Ngram database.
- Mondays see around a 25% higher rate of heart attacks compared to other days according to a study by the British Medical Journal.
- In stock markets, Mondays statistically have the lowest average returns compared to other days according to data from S&P 500.
- Cyber attacks are more common on Mondays, with an 11% higher rate than the average on Tuesday to Sunday according to a 2021 report.
- Google searches for “I hate Mondays” spike by up to 15% on Mondays compared to other days, showing the dislike many people have!
So while Mondays are disliked by many, they are still pivotal days in modern society globally. The data proves Mondays shouldn’t be underestimated!
Mondays in Pop Culture
Mondays have been referenced many times in songs, movies, TV shows and books. Here are some of the most well-known Monday references in pop culture:
- “Manic Monday” – A 1986 song by the Bangles referring to the hectic pace of Mondays.
- “Rainy Days and Mondays” – A 1971 song by the Carpenters about feeling down on Mondays.
- “I Don’t Like Mondays” – A 1979 song by the Boomtown Rats written about a real life school shooting that took place on a Monday.
- The Moody Blues – English rock band with albums called “Monday Morning”, “Blue Monday” and “Rainy Day Monday”.
- Office Space – 1999 comedy film in which the character Peter dreads Mondays and his dull office job.
- Garfield – Famous comic strip cat Garfield is well known for hating Mondays.
Mondays have certainly made their mark as an integral part of the weekly calendar and culture, both positively and negatively!
Monday Names Around the World
While Monday is the widely used English name, the word for Monday in other languages reflects their own cultural and mythological influences. Here are the Monday names in some other languages:
|Language||Word for Monday||Meaning|
|Spanish||Lunes||Day of the Moon|
|French||Lundi||Day of the Moon|
|Italian||Lunedì||Day of the Moon|
|German||Montag||Day of the Moon|
|Russian||Понедельник (Ponedel’nik)||Day after Sunday|
|Arabic||إثنين (ithnin)||Second day|
|Hindi||सोमवार (somavar)||Day of the Moon|
|Chinese||星期一 (xīngqī yī)||Week day one|
|Japanese||月曜日 (getsuyōbi)||Day of the moon|
This shows how Monday is associated with moon-related names in Latin languages, as well as the significance of the number one or second day of the week in other cultures.
In conclusion, Monday’s name originates from being dedicated to the Moon by the ancient Romans. The Moon has strong mythological and cultural importance worldwide, making Monday a fitting name. Despite any modern associations with the start of work week stress and pressure, Monday remains a notable day deeply ingrained in our shared calendar system.