6/4/08

Can someone explain to me...

why your week starts on a Sunday!? After all Sunday is the 'day of rest' according to The Bible and so surely Monday is the start of a new week, but apparently not here!?

I find this utterly bizarre considering how religion is such a huge part of everyday American life. Even after nearly 3 years I still have to occasionally do a double take at the calendar to remind myself that the first day of the calendar week is Sunday here.

Were you even aware that in Europe, the first day of the week on calendars is Monday?

11 comments:

Michelle said...

Nope, wasn't aware...and furthermore, Craig has NEVER even mentioned it to me!! Odd, as he has normally pointed out all of the differences as he sees them...hmmm. :) M.

Pawtucket, RI said...

Hmmm.... Monday starts the beginning of the week for me. At least in my own head it does. LOL

Sarah, I changed my name seeing there are 2 Michelle's that post comments here.


M

Brad said...

On my work calendars, I always start the week on Monday (when I have the ability to change the setting).

As far as why it starts on Sunday here... I don't claim to be an expert, but my understanding is that Christians observe Sunday, the Day of Rest, as the first day of the week as a way to give the first of the week to God — i.e. the "first fruits" of the week set aside to honor God (whether people actually do that on Sunday is another question).

Also, I found this explanation on Wikipedia:

In Jewish and Christian tradition, the first day of the week is Sunday. Both the Hebrew and Ecclesiastic Latin languages number most of the days of the week. In Hebrew, Sunday through Friday are numbered one through six, while in Ecclesiastic Latin, Monday through Friday are numbered the second through the sixth days of the week (feria). For Christians and Jews, Sunday remains the first day of the week. Most, though not all, business and social calendars in North America mark Sunday as the first day of the week.

In the UK, Australasia and other English-speaking countries, Monday is always shown as the first day of the week, though this may be because it is the first day of the business week; Sunday still being considered the first day of the week.


Does that help?

BritGal' Sarah said...

Thanks Brad, I have to disagree with Wikipedia though on one thing. I have never in my life considered Sunday the first day of the week, despite going to church!

Janet said...

I'm not terribly au fait with the bible, but doesn't it say that after all his creating God rested on the seventh day? Would that be Saturday or Sunday?

I've always thought it was Sunday, hence Monday is the first day of the week.

Gail said...

I didn't realise UK calendars showed Monday as the first day of the week. As far as I'm concerned that's as it should be. I've never thought of Sunday as the first day of the week, and I had no idea why our US calendars started with Sunday. I always thought it was done for no other reason than to separate the two days that began with the letter S. The Wikipedia entry was very interesting.

Brad Neese said...

janet,

The Jews celebrated the Sabbath (Day of Rest) on Saturday. Christians moved the Sabbath to Sunday.

I'm not saying the logic is correct, but that's the history as I understand it.

Rhea said...

I didn't know Europe started their weeks with Monday. I agree that it makes no sense to start with Sunday. I just ignore my calendar and start my weeks on Monday anyway. lol

Mmm said...

Yes, I remember that the calendar always had Monday as first day of week but my family would also always tell me that was actually incorrect.

In the Genesis account of creation it says that God "rested" on the 7th day--the Sabbath which was always considered by the hebrews as sundown Friday to Sundown Saturday, basically Saturday. That is the day referred to in keeping the sabbath as mentioned in the 10 commandments.

However as Jesus was first seen raised "early Sunday morning," Christians starting setting apart this day as a time to worship and gather, and yes, as mentioned as a sort of "first fruits", not calling it the "sabbath" but "resurrection day" which, right or wrong, in the end took supremacy as everything else like the feasts and even the sabbath were now seen as a foreshadow of what was to come.

So, in actuality, in christianity too Sunday is the first day of the week, and Saturday the 7th, the Sabbath. However, the "weekend" was eventually created with two days lumped together as more people had Saturdays off too so both days became a day of rest, so to speak. Thus the first 'work' day can be considered Monday and that is how it is now used (incorrectly) in many calendars.

Janet said...

Brad,

Thanks for clarifying that. I ought to have read your earlier comment.

Karen said...

We have a calender hanging on our wall, that has Monday as the start of the week. This seems completely normal to me and the way it should be. However, it really confuses my American hubby. :-)