View Full Version : The Pagan Roots of the Days of the Week

Bryttisc Scildfreca
Saturday, April 30th, 2005, 01:53 PM

Within the English days of the week are encoded the gods of Anglo-Saxon/Norse Mythology; most people in Britain today wouldn't know this of course. I am interested to know what they mean in your language, including old dialects. I imagine for most of us they will be the same, but the names of the gods will differ slightly.

Old English | English | Meaning
Sunnandæg ... Sunday ... The day of the Sun
Mōnandæg ... Monday ... The day of the Moon
Tiwesdæg ... Tuesday ... The day of Tiw, god of war, son of Woden
Wodnesdæg ... Wednesday ... The day of Woden, the god of wisdom, war, art and culture and the supreme deity
Þunresdæg ... Thursday ... The day of Thunor, the god of thunder, son of Woden?
Frigesdæg ... Friday ... The day of Frige, the love goddess and wife of Woden
Sæternesdæg ... Saturday ... The day of Saturn, the Roman god of fertility and agriculture

Bryttisc Scildfreca

Sunday, May 1st, 2005, 07:39 AM
In Scottish Gaelic....

Monday: Di-Luain = Day of the Moon
Tuesday: Di-Màirt = Day of Mars
Wednesday: Di-Ciadaoin = Day of the First Fast
Thursday: Di-Ardaoin = Day between fasts
Friday: Di h-Aoine = Day of the Fast
Saturday: Di-Sathurna = Day of Saturn
Di-Domhnaich = Day of the Lord
Latha na Sàbaid = Day of the Sabbath

So, as you can see, whatever names the heathen Gaels had for the days of the week have been lost (from what I can gather) to time, supplanted by references to a particular Middle Eastern cult that I have been known to froth at the eyes over from time to time.

Knowing the Scottish Highlands though, they were probably something like this...
Still Raining-day

Not sure on the Irish Gaelic, but I'd day it would be similar to the Scottish.
As for Welsh/Cornish/Breton, not sure, but it would be interesting to have a search....

Sæternesdæg ... Saturday ... The day of Saturn, the Roman god of fertility and agriculture
Saturday has always annoyed me personally, I wish we could re-name it after Yggdrasil or the Irminsul...

"Irminsday" or "Yggdrasday"? :scratchhe
For now I'll just pretend Saturday is a latinization of "Surtr's Dæg" :D

Bryttisc Scildfreca
Sunday, May 1st, 2005, 11:39 AM
Not sure on the Irish Gaelic, but I'd day it would be similar to the Scottish. As for Welsh/Cornish/Breton, not sure, but it would be interesting to have a search....

Well hopefully we will get some people in here to explain these for us. I'm sure I could find the words on the net somewhere but I won't know what they mean.

I have found a website with some translations and mostly the Germanic ones are the same but obviously Woden is Odin and Thunnor is Thor etc. The Latin countries like France use the Roman gods; in fact I have a suspicion Wales is the same - http://www.answers.com/topic/days-of-the-week

Saturday is different across Germanic nations too. In German it's Sonnabend "sun's eve". For many of the others I believe it means "bath day" :P

Bryttisc Scildfreca
Sunday, May 1st, 2005, 12:20 PM

Monday: dydd Llun = Moon
Tuesday: dydd Mawrth = Mars
Wednesday: dydd Mercher = Mercury
Thursday: dydd Iau = Jupiter
Friday: dydd Gwener = Venus
Saturday: dydd Sadwrn = Saturn
Sunday: dydd Sul = Sun


Monday: De Lun = Moon
Tuesday: De Merth = Mars
Wednesday: De Merher = Mercury
Thursday: De Yow = Jupiter
Friday: De Gwener = Venus
Saturday: De Sadorn = Saturn
Sunday: De Sul = Sun


Monday: al lun / dilun = Moon
Tuesday: ar meurzh / dimeurzh = Mars
Wednesday: ar merc'her / dimerc'her = Mercury
Thursday: ar yaou / diyaou = Jupiter
Friday: ar gwener / digwener = Venus
Saturday: ar sadorn / disadorn = Saturn
Sunday: ar sul / disul = Sun

The al/ar forms are nouns with a definite article, the di forms are adverbs.

Irish Gaelic

Monday: Dé Luan = Moon
Tuesday: Dé Mháirt = Mars
Wednesday: Dé Chéadaoin = ?
Thursday: Déardaoin = ?
Friday: Dé hAoine = ?
Saturday: Dé Satharn = Saturn
Sunday: Dé Domhnach = Christian god


Imperator X
Sunday, May 1st, 2005, 08:55 PM
Sonnabend? I thought it was Samstag.

Monday, December 10th, 2007, 07:14 PM
The Pagan Roots of the Days of the Week

Old English: Sunnandaeg
Names after the Sun. The actual word "Sunday" is derived from the German word "Sonntag" (and they likely got it from the Scandanavians).

Old English: Mmonandaeg
If sun is honored on Sunday, it follows that the Moon should be given a place of prominence on Monday. And, indeed, the word for Monday is derived via the ancient Anglo-Saxon/Germanic tongue from the word for Moon, "monandaeg". Most other Western and Southern European languages use their own derivative of the word, "moon", as a root for "Monday". For example, the Latin word for moon is "luna" and from that comes the French word "Lundi".

Old English: Tiwes day
Named after the Nordic Goddess Tiwes

Old English: Wodnesdaeg (Wotans Day)
Named after Nordic god Odin

Old English: Thunresdaeg (Thor's Day)
Named after the Nordic god Thor

Old English: Frigedaeg (Freyja's Day)
(German Freitag named after the Nordic goddess Freyja)

Saturday is the only day of the week that retained its Roman origins in the wake of the English invasions of the Angles and Saxons. This may have been because there was no Norse God to roughly correspond to the Roman God of Time and the Harvest, Saturn. The Anglo-Saxons simply adapted the Roman, "dies saturni", making it saterdaeg.