Saturday is the first official day of the regular two-day weekend, and is a day usually synonymous with sleeping in late, being lazy, or going for a night out to paint the town.
Saturday is often the most common day of the week for sports to take place, often ensuring maximum turn-out from fans who would otherwise be working in the week.
There’s quite a few interesting facts about Saturdays themselves, as well as a tapestry of really interesting names for Saturday around the world, so without further delay let’s get to it.
- Saturday takes its name from Saturn, the Roman god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal, and liberation.
- Generally speaking, many of the days of the week were renamed from the Roman calendar to the Germanic calendar after the Germanic deities instead of the Roman ones. However, for the day Saturday, the Germanic calendar stuck with naming the day after Saturn as none of the Germanic gods were the equivalent of Saturn.
- In different cultures such as Scandinavian countries, Saturday is called lördag,lørdag, or laurdag, with the name being derived from the old word laugr/laug, meaning bath. So therefore ‘lördag’ equates to “bath-day.” This is due to the Viking practice of bathing on a Saturday.
- The roots for this naming of Saturday, lör and lauger are the equivalent of the English word lye, in the sense of detergent.
- In German speaking countries, Saturday is officially known as Samstag, which is derived from Ancient Greek. However, there is another word used for Saturday which is Sonnabend, which is derived from the Old High German Sunnunaband, and closely related to the Old English word sunnanæfen, which literally means “Sun Eve,” so ‘The Day before Sunday.”
- The Maori name for Saturday is Rahoroi, which literally means Washing Day. This derives from early colonized life when Maori Christian converts would set aside a Saturday to wash their clothes for church on a Sunday.
- In Japanese, the word for Saturday translates as do youbi, meaning “soil day” and is associated with the planet Saturn (not the God) which is called dosei in Japanese and translates as “soil star.”
- Similar to this, in Korean the day for Saturday translates as “earth day.”
- In the Thai solar calendar of Thailand, ourple is the color associated with the day Saturday.
- In astrology, Saturday is aligned to the planet Saturn and the astrological signs of Capricorn and Aquarius.
- In Nepal, Saturday is the last day of the week and is the only official weekly holiday.
- Saturday is the official day of rest in Israel, where all government offices and most businesses, including public transportation, are closed.
- Saturday is the day in which elections usually take place in Australia.
- Saturday is also the only day that elections take place in New Zealand.
- In Sweden, Saturday is often the only day of the week when young children are allowed to eat candy.
- In the song/rhyme Monday’s Child, Saturday’s child ‘works hard for a living’.
- In folklore, Saturday was often viewed as the best day to hunt vampires, as this was the day of the week when they were restricted to their coffins. It was also believed in the Balkans that if somebody was born on a Saturday then they could see a vampire that was invisible to others, and that these people were the best recruits to become vampire hunters.
- In the Western world, Saturday morning television is often orientated towards a viewership of children, whilst in the evening it is often aimed at a viewership of families.
- Saturday night is the night on which most bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants open longer, denoting Saturday as the regular party night of the working week.
- Saturday is the most common day of the week for most domestic football matches to occur in the U.K.
- The final of the Eurovision Song Contest, the longest-running annual international TV song competition, has always aired on a Saturday since its start in 1956.
- Black Saturday is the name given to the start of a series of deadly and devastating bushfires in Victoria, Australia, that started on Saturday February the 7th 2009 and were Australia’s all-time worst bushfire disasters.