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Wednesday is named after Odin (Wotan), the all-father of Norse mythology. Source: The_AI_Revolution / Adobe Stock

The Pagan Gods Who Gave Rise to the Days of Our Week


We speak the names of gods on a daily basis and most people do not even realize it.  Whether its Thor’s Day (Thursday) or Saturn’s Day (Saturday), every day of the week, religious and non-religious people alike follow the old pagan tradition of giving thanks to the gods of old.

In ancient Mesopotamia, astrologers assigned each day of the week the name of a god. In a culture where days were consumed by religion, it is unsurprising that the days of the week were made in homage to the gods believed to rule the lives of mortals.  

Many centuries later, the Romans, upon beginning to use the seven day week, adopted the names of the week to fit their own gods. These were then adopted by Germanic people who also adjusted the names according to their gods. It is predominantly these Germanic and Norse gods that have lived on today in the days of the week, which are outlined below.


Sunday, as you may be able to guess, is the “Sun’s Day” – the name of a pagan Roman holiday.  In many folklore traditions, Sunday was believed to be a lucky day for babies born. Many societies have worshiped the sun and sun-gods. Perhaps the most famous is the Egyptian Sun-god Ra, who was the lord of time.


Monday comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘monandaeg’ which is the “Moon’s Day”. On this day people gave homage to the goddess of the moon.  It was believed by ancients that there were three Mondays during the year that were considered to be unlucky: first Monday in April, second in August and last in December.


Tuesday is the first to be named after a Germanic god – Tiu (or Twia) – a god of war and the sky and associated with the Norse god Tyr, who was a defender god in Viking mythology.  Tiu is associated with Mars. He is usually shown with only one hand. In the most famous myth about Týr he placed his hand between the jaws of the wolf Fenrir as a mark of good faith while the other gods, pretending to play, bound the wolf. When Fenrir realised he had been tricked he bit off Tyr's hand.

Tuesday is connected with the Norse god Tyr. Source: Archivist / Adobe Stock

Tuesday is connected with the Norse god Tyr. Source: Archivist / Adobe Stock


Wednesday means “Woden’s Day” (in Norse, ‘Odin’), the Old Norse’s equivalent to Mercury, who was the messenger to the gods and the Roman god of commerce, travel and science. He was considered the chief god and leader of the wild hunt in Anglo-Saxon mythology, but the name directly translated means “violently insane headship” – not exactly the name of a loving and kind god!  Woden was the ruler of Asgard, the hoe of the gods, and is able to shift and change into different forms.


Thursday was “Thor’s Day”, named after the Norse god of thunder and lightning and is the Old Norse equivalent to Jupiter. Thor is often depicted holding a giant hammer and during the 10  th and 11  th centuries when Christians tried to convert the Scandinavians, many wore emblems of Thor’s hammer as a symbol of defiance against the new religion.

Thursday is named after Thor, Norse god of thunder. Source: Dusan Kostic / Adobe Stock

Thursday is named after Thor, Norse god of thunder. Source: Dusan Kostic / Adobe Stock


Friday is associated with Freya, the wife of Woden and the Norse goddess of love, marriage and fertility, who is equivalent to Venus, the Roman goddess of love.


Lastly, Saturday derives from “Saturn’s Day”, a Roman god associated with wealth, plenty and time. It is the only English week-day still associated with a Roman god, Saturn.  The Hebrews called Saturday the "Sabbath", meaning, day of rest. The Bible identifies Saturday as the last day of the week.

The seven-day week originates with in ancient Babylon prior to 600 BC, when time was marked with the lunar cycle, which experienced different seven-day cycles. A millennium later, Emperor Constantine converted Rome to Christianity and standardized the seven-day week across the Empire.  Rome may initially have acquired the seven-day week from the mystical beliefs of Babylonian astrologers. But it was the biblical story of creation, God making the Heavens and Earth and resting on the seventh day that will have led the first Christian emperor of Rome to make sure it endured to this day.

Top image: Wednesday is named after Odin (Wotan), the all-father of Norse mythology. Source: The_AI_Revolution / Adobe Stock

By Joanna Gillan



Pete Wagner's picture

You didn't get my point, Charles.  But where there is a palpable hatred of the traditional culture of white gentiles, largely due to the constant devious distortions of history and modern pop-culture conditioning, it’s like ...MEH.  I was just questioning the article's implication that the Germanics did NOT have days of the week prior to the Romans.  I call that implausible as supported by the culture of Saturday, or 'wash day', which is of course an activity that would predate the naming of the days.  Germanic names for days almost certainly originated way back in ancient history upon the recognition of the once-a-week activities (weekly routine of prehistoric life) associated with that day.  Take Tuesday, where the Romans celebrate warring, the Germanic activity associated with that day is NOT war, but agriculture and hunting (daylight activities).  That day of course came after the day of the moon, which provides light for nighttime activities (which could be night hunt or harvest), and then followed by a day of thought and reflection, which is associated with the wisdom of old men like Odin.  Thursday was the good day (god day) represented by their great young god.  Friday was a day of love and dreams, then bath day, then a day in the Sun, and repeat.  The question is, is today's Sunday the same day as the Sunday of the pre-historic past?  Almost certainly not due to the Ice Age, which would have put everything out of sync.  That may not matter, or it maybe it does, if there is/was some spiritual vibe that they were aligning with.  The lunar cycle remains a real thing, so it's something to ponder.

Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

Charles Bowles's picture

It appears that every language has a different word for all things, which also include DAYS OF THE WEEK.  For example, both Spanish and Portuguese which are LATIN languages have different names for days of the week, such as in Spanish the word for Saturday is “Sabado”, and in Portuguese it is something else, and Friday in Spanish is “Viernes”, and in Portiuguese it is “Sexto” which mean SIXTH day of the week..  Also, I doubt if the so-call Thunder God “Thor” spoke either Spanish or Portuguese, and he certainly did not speak any Arabic, Swahili, Native African and American languages to give names of days to any of those people ha ha ha?  When we get on our knees and say prayers we usually say at the end the ancient Black Egyptian God name ‘AMEN” ha ha ha..  The point is that the days of the week which are English words for English speaking people are not the same for other language speaking people, so to try giving credit to white European people as being the founders of names for days, weeks, months, years for all people is quite lucicrous, and irrational “Nonsense” ha ha..  To show pictures of white bearded monstrous looking so-call Gods and say that days of week were named after these myths serves absolutely no,purpose other than to feed the irrational ego’s of millions of very ignorant people who are very eager to adapt to a false concept about their uncivilized “Nordic” history which they lived dating back to 1000 BCE (3000 yrs ago) when ancient African Egyptian, Nubian, Ethiopian, Garamante, Black Minoan of ancient Crete island, and the Egyptian controlled “Vassal” territory of the Levant, as well as WEST ASIAN “Cauc-Asian” civilizations were thriving.  

Charles Bowles

Pete Wagner's picture

From the article, "the Romans, upon beginning to use the seven day week, adopted the names of the week to fit their own gods. These were then adopted by Germanic people..."

So are we to believe the Norse/Germanics did not name the days prior to this, and that the tyrannical Romans (if they really did exist) were OKAY with having the Norse mythology supplant their ‘gods’?  ...Oh but wait, there’s Saturday for Saturn, the god of wealth, that the people of the South insisted upon.  Maybe they didn’t want a day of the week dedicated for bathing, as did the people of the North (who called Saturday Laugardagur)?  And I assume the people of the North didn’t have a day dedicated to counting their money, ...which wasn't yet a thing at the time they named the days.

Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

tamaramoresova1985's picture

In Slovak language:
Pondelok- Monday
Utorok- Tuesday
Streda- Wednesday
Štvrtok- Thursday
Piatok- Friday
Sobota- Saturday
Nedeľa- Sunday

In Romania:
Duminica - (from latin Dominus Diem) - (Sunday)
Luni - (from latin Lunae) - (Monday)
Marti - (from latin Martis) - (Tuesday)
Miercuri - (from latin Mercurii) - (Wednesday)
Joi - (from latin Iovis) - (Thursday)
Vineri - (from latin Veneris) - (Friday)
Sambata - (from latin Sabbatum) - (Saturday)

In seems that, except Saturday and Sunday,
all other days are derived from old Roman Pagan Gods.


Joanna Gillan's picture


Joanna Gillan is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. 

Joanna completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) degree in Australia and published research in the field of Educational Psychology. She has a rich and varied career, ranging from teaching... Read More

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