Wonder Question:

Why are there 7 days in the week?

Find it Out:

Why are there 7 days in the week?

The Babylonians in ancient Mesopotamia (in modern Iraq) invented the modern calendar, with seven days in a week. They were very formidable astronomers, knowing the patterns of the sun, moon, and the planets. The movement of the sun and the Earth naturally gives a 24 hours in a day, and the phases of the moon gives a month. But the seven days in a week is a synthetic invention.

Some say that the number seven was significant in their culture, representing the seven mystical bodies: the Sun, the Moon, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus. Even ancient China and Japanese culture adopted the seven week calendar, with heavy influence of the Mesopotamian calendar. In Judaism (preceding Christianity), the creation of the world was in seven days.

But, where did the seven days of the week get there names? Ancient Rome adopted the seven days, but they decided to name them, unlike the Jewish culture. Emperor Constantine decided to name the days of the week after the pagan gods. The English translation took its names from different sources, mainly from Nordic and Roman.

Monday took its name from gods of religions from Nordic and Roman lands. Tuesday gets its name from the Norse god Tyr, associated with justice. Wednesday is named after Wodin, or Odin, the main god that ruled over all others. Thursday is named after Thor, the Nordic god of thunder. Friday gets its name from the Nordic goddess Frigg, goddess of fertility and marriage. Saturday is named after the Roman god Saturn, god of time and agriculture. Finally, Sunday is named after the Sun. Although the names may seem arbitrary, the English translation took time and development.

Try It Out:

  • Ready for fun in the summer days? How about the weeks? For every day this week, draw what the moon looks like. Also, name something positive that happened that day and something you want to do tomorrow.
  • Draw and create a calendar. Choose a theme which you could have a picture for every month and make sure the days and weeks line up correctly!
  • Create a catchy song, possibly with a tune, that kids (and classmates) will remember and know the days of the week.