Friday is the day of the week between Thursday and Saturday. In countries that adopt the traditional "Sunday-first" convention, it is the sixth day of the week. In countries adopting the ISO-defined "Monday-first" convention, it is the fifth day of the week.

Venus by Francois Boucher

In most Western countries, Friday is the fifth and final day of the working week. In some other countries, Friday is the first day of the weekend, with Saturday the second. In Iran, Friday is the last day of the weekend, with Saturday as the first day of the working week. Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also followed this convention until they changed to a Friday–Saturday weekend on September 1, 2006, in Bahrain and the UAE,[1] and a year later in Kuwait.[2] The UAE changed its weekend from Friday–Saturday to Saturday–Sunday on January 1, 2022.[3]


Frigg spinning the clouds, by John Charles Dollman

The name Friday comes from the Old English frīġedæġ, meaning the "day of Frig", a result of an old convention associating the Nordic goddess Frigg with the Roman goddess Venus, with whom the day is associated in many cultures. The same holds for Frīatag in Old High German, Freitag in Modern German, and vrijdag in Dutch.

"Friday" in other languages

The expected cognate name in Old Norse would be friggjar-dagr. The name of Friday in Old Norse is frjá-dagr instead, indicating a loan of the week-day names from Low German;[4] however, the modern Faroese name is fríggjadagur. The modern Scandinavian form is fredag in Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish, meaning Freyja's day. The distinction between Freyja and Frigg in some Germanic mythologies is contested.

The word for Friday in most Romance languages is derived from Latin dies Veneris or "day of Venus" (a translation of Greek Aphrodī́tēs hēméra, Ἀφροδίτης Ἡμέρα), such as vendredi in French, venres in Galician, divendres in Catalan, vennari in Corsican, venerdì in Italian, vineri in Romanian, and viernes in Spanish and influencing the Filipino biyernes or byernes, and the Chamorro betnes. This is also reflected in the p-Celtic Welsh language as Gwener.

An exception is Portuguese, also a Romance language, which uses the word sexta-feira, meaning "sixth day of liturgical celebration", derived from the Latin feria sexta used in religious texts where consecrating days to pagan gods was not allowed. Another exception among the Romance languages is also Sardinian, in which the word chenàpura is derived from Latin cena pura. This name had been given by the Jewish community exiled to the island in order to designate the food specifically prepared for Shabbat eve.[5]

In Arabic, Friday is الجمعة al-jumʿah, from a root meaning "congregation/gathering." In languages of Islamic countries outside the Arab world, the word for Friday is commonly a derivation of this: (Malay Jumaat (Malaysia) or Jumat (Indonesian), Turkish cuma, Persian/Urdu جمعه, jumʿa) and Swahili (Ijumaa).

In modern Greek, four of the words for the week-days are derived from ordinals. However, the Greek word for Friday is Paraskevi (Παρασκευή) and is derived from a word meaning "to prepare" (παρασκευάζω). Like Saturday (Savvato, Σάββατο) and Sunday (Kyriaki, Κυριακή), Friday is named for its liturgical significance as the day of preparation before Sabbath, which was inherited by Greek Christian Orthodox culture from Jewish practices.

Friday was formerly a Christian fast day; this is the origin of the Irish Dé hAoine, Scottish Gaelic Di-Haoine, Manx Jeheiney and Icelandic föstudagur, all meaning "fast day".

In both biblical and modern Hebrew, Friday is יום שישי Yom Shishi meaning "the sixth day".

In most Indian languages, Friday is Shukravāra, named for Shukra, the planet Venus. In Bengali শুক্রবার or Shukrobar is the 6th day in the Bengali week of Bengali Calendar and is the beginning of the weekend in Bangladesh. In Tamil, the word for Friday is velli, also a name for Venus; and in Malayalam it is velliyalca.

In Japanese, 金曜日 (きんようび, kinyōbi) is formed from the words 金星 (きんせい, kinsei) meaning Venus (lit. gold + planet) and 曜日 (ようび, yōbi) meaning day (of the week).

In the Korean language, it is 금요일 in Korean Hangul writing (Romanization: geumyoil), and is the pronounced form of the written word 金曜日 in Chinese characters, as in Japanese.

In Chinese, Friday is 星期五 xīngqíwǔ meaning "fifth day of the week".

In the Nahuatl language, Friday is quetzalcōātōnal ([ket͡saɬkoːaːˈtoːnaɬ]) meaning "day of Quetzalcoatl".

Most Slavic languages call Friday the "fifth (day)": Belarusian пятніцаpyatnitsa, Bulgarian петъкpetŭk, Czech pátek, Polish piątek, Russian пятницаpyatnitsa, Serbo-Croatian петакpetak, Slovak piatok, Slovene petek, and Ukrainian п'ятницяp'yatnitsya. The Hungarian word péntek is a loan from Pannonian dialect of Slavic language. The n in péntek suggests an early adoption from Slavic, when many Slavic dialects still had nasal vowels. In modern Slavic languages only Polish retained nasal vowels.[6]


Friday is considered unlucky in some cultures. This is particularly so in maritime circles; perhaps the most enduring sailing superstition is that it is unlucky to begin a voyage on a Friday.[7][8] In the 19th century, Admiral William Henry Smyth described Friday in his nautical lexicon The Sailor's Word-Book as:

The Dies Infaustus, on which old seamen were desirous of not getting under weigh, as ill-omened.[9]

(Dies Infaustus means "unlucky day".[10]) This superstition is the root of the well-known urban legend of HMS Friday.

In modern times since the Middle Ages, Friday the 13th and Friday the 17th are considered to be especially unlucky, due to the conjunction of Friday with the unlucky numbers thirteen and seventeen. Such a Friday may be called a "Black Friday".[11]

However, this superstition is not universal, notably in Hispanic, Greek and Scottish Gaelic culture:

Though Friday (and especially those falling on the 13th and 17th) has always been held an unlucky day in many Christian countries, still in the Hebrides it is supposed that it is a lucky day for sowing the seed. Good Friday in particular is a favourite day for potato planting—even strict Roman Catholics make a point of planting a bucketful on that day. Probably the idea is that as the Resurrection followed the Crucifixion, and Burial so too in the case of the seed, and after death will come life?[12]

In Hispanic and Greek cultures, Tuesday is the unlucky day, specifically the 13th.

In astrology

The Birth of Venus by Francois Boucher

In astrology, Friday is connected with the planet Venus and is symbolized by that planet's symbol . Friday is also associated with the astrological signs Libra and Taurus.

Guillemot, Alexandre Charles - Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan - Google Art Project
The Toilet of Venus, by François Boucher
François Boucher - La toilette de Vénus - PPP2498 - Musée des Beaux-Arts de la ville de Paris

In religions


Main article: Friday Fast

In Christianity, Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. Adherents of many Christian denominations including the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Methodist, and Anglican traditions observe the Friday Fast, which traditionally includes abstinence from meat, lacticinia, and alcohol on Fridays of the year.[13][14][15]

Traditionally, Roman Catholics were obliged to refrain from eating the meat of warm-blooded animals[16] on Fridays, although fish was allowed. The Filet-O-Fish was invented in 1962 by Lou Groen, a McDonald's franchise owner in Cincinnati, Ohio,[16][17] in response to falling hamburger sales on Fridays resulting from the Roman Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays.[18]

In the present day, episcopal conferences are now authorized to allow some other form of penance to replace abstinence from meat. The 1983 Code of Canon Law states:

Canon 1250. The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Canon 1251. Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Canon 1253. The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.[19]

The Book of Common Prayer prescribes weekly Friday fasting and abstinence from meat for all Anglicans.[20][21][14]

In Methodism, the Directions Given to Band Societies (25 December 1744) mandate for all Methodists fasting and abstinence from meat on all Fridays of the year.[15]

The Eastern Orthodox Church continues to observe Fridays (as well as Wednesdays) as fast days throughout the year (with the exception of several fast-free periods during the year). Fasting on Fridays entails abstinence from meat or meat products (i.e., quadrupeds), poultry, and dairy products (as well as fish). Unless a feast day occurs on a Friday, the Orthodox also abstain from using oil in their cooking and from alcoholic beverages (there is some debate over whether abstention from oil involves all cooking oil or only olive oil). On particularly important feast days, fish may also be permitted. For the Orthodox, Fridays throughout the year commemorate the Crucifixion of Christ and the Theotokos (Mother of God), especially as she stood by the foot of the cross. There are hymns in the Octoekhos which reflect this liturgically. These include Theotokia (hymns to the Mother of God) which are chanted on Wednesdays and Fridays called Stavrotheotokia ("Cross-Theotokia"). The dismissal at the end of services on Fridays begins with the words: "May Christ our true God, through the power of the precious and life-giving cross...."

Quakers traditionally referred to Friday as "Sixth Day," eschewing the pagan origins of the name.[22] In Slavic countries, it is called "Fifth Day" (Polish: piątek, Russian: пятница, pyatnitsa).


The day is named after Shukra son of Bhrigu and Kavyamata (Usana). In Hinduism, special observances are practiced for forms of the Devi, such as Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kali, Parvati, Annapurna, or Santoshi Mata on Friday. Fridays are important for married ladies and they worship the goddesses on that day.


Main article: Friday prayer

In Islam, Friday (from sun-down Thursday to sun-down Friday) is the day of communion, of praying together, the holy day of Muslims. Friday observance includes attendance at a Masjid (mosque) for congregation prayer or Salat Al Jumu'ah. It is considered a day of peace and mercy (see Jumu'ah).

Muslim Friday prayer at a mosque in Malaysia

According to some Islamic traditions, the day is stated to be the original holy day ordained by God, but that now Jews and Christians recognize the days after.[23][24] In some Islamic countries, the week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday, just like the Jewish week and the week in some Christian countries. The week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday in most other Islamic countries, such as Somalia, and Iran. Friday is also the day of rest in the Baháʼí Faith.[25] In some Malaysian states, Friday is the first week-end day, with Saturday the second, to allow Muslims to perform their religious obligations on Friday.[26] Sunday is the first working day of the week for governmental organizations.

Muslims are recommended not to fast on a Friday by itself (makruh, recommended against, but not haram, religiously forbidden), unless it is accompanied with fasting the day before (Thursday) or day after (Saturday), or it corresponds with days usually considered good for fasting (i.e. Day of Arafah or Ashura), or it falls within one's usual religious fasting habits (i.e. fasting every other day), then it's completely permissible.[27] Muslims believe Friday as "Syed-ul-Ayyam" meaning King of days. A narration in Sahih Muslim describes the importance of Friday as follows.

"Abu Huraira reported the Messenger of Allah as saying:

The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday; on it, Adam was created. on it he was made to enter Paradise, on it he was expelled from it. And the last hour will take place on no day other than Friday.

The Qur'an also has a surah (chapter) called Al-Jumu'ah (The Friday).[28]


Jewish Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday and lasts until nightfall on Saturday. There is a Jewish custom to fast on the Friday of the week of Chukat.

Named days


See also


  1. ^ "Login". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  2. ^ Wilf, Nabil (May 29, 2007). "Expositions of Arabia: Kuwait Changes to Friday-Saturday Weekend". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  3. ^ "UAE Government announces Saturday – Sunday weekend from January 1, 2022". The Brew. December 7, 2021. Archived from the original on December 8, 2022. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  4. ^ Hermann Paul, Grundriss der germanischen philologie, vol 3, 1900, p. 369.
  5. ^ "Sa limba sarda". Archived from the original on February 27, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  6. ^ Days of the week in Hungarian, Csaba Bán, 21 November 2011,; accessed 6 August 2016
  7. ^ Bassett, Fletcher S. (1885), Legends and Superstitions of the Sea and of Sailors in All Lands and at All Times, S. Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, ISBN 0-548-22818-3
  8. ^ Vigor, John (2004), The Practical Encyclopedia of Boating, McGraw-Hill Professional, ISBN 0-07-137885-5
  9. ^ Smyth, William Henry (1991), The Sailor's Word-Book, Conway Maritime Press, ISBN 0-85177-972-7
  10. ^ "dies infaustus". Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
  11. ^ John Roach (May 14, 2014). "Friday the 13th Superstitions Rooted in Bible and More". National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on April 11, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  12. ^ Dwelly, Edward (1988), Illustrated Gaelic–English Dictionary, Gairm Publications, ISBN 0-901771-92-9 [dead link]
  13. ^ Weitzel, Thomas L. (1978). "A Handbook for the Discipline of Lent" (PDF). Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Cobb, Daniel; Olsen, Derek (eds.). Saint Augustine's Prayer Book. pp. 4–5.
  15. ^ a b McKnight, Scot (2010). Fasting: The Ancient Practices. Thomas Nelson. p. 88. ISBN 9781418576134. John Wesley, in his Journal, wrote on Friday, August 17, 1739, that "many of our society met, as we had appointed, at one in the afternoon and agreed that all members of our society should obey the Church to which we belong by observing 'all Fridays in the year' as 'days of fasting and abstinence.'
  16. ^ a b "Why Abstain from Meat on Fridays, but Eat Fish?". Catholic Financial Life. Archived from the original on March 29, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  17. ^ "No fish story: Sandwich saved his McDonald's". USA Today. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Villarrubia, Eleonore (February 16, 2010). "Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Friday?". Archived from the original on August 14, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  19. ^ "Code of Canon Law: text - IntraText CT".
  20. ^ "Tables and Rules". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  21. ^ "Days of Fasting, Abstinence and Solemn Prayer, Book of Common Prayer, Canada (1962)". August 14, 2007. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  22. ^ "Guide to Quaker Calendar Names". Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Retrieved March 30, 2017. In the 20th Century, many Friends began accepting use of the common date names, feeling that any pagan meaning has been forgotten. The numerical names continue to be used, however, in many documents and more formal situations."
  23. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari 876
  24. ^ Hava Lazarus-Yafeh. "Muslim Festivals". Numen 25.1 (1978), p. 60
  25. ^ Effendi, Shoghi; The Universal House of Justice (1983), Hornby, Helen (ed.), Lights of Guidance: A Baháʼí Reference File, Baháʼí Publishing Trust, New Delhi, India, p. 109, ISBN 81-85091-46-3
  26. ^ "Johor to have Friday, Saturday weekend rest days from Jan 1 – Nation – The Star Online". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  27. ^ "حكم صيام يوم الجمعة". موضوع (in Arabic). Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  28. ^ Quran 62
  29. ^ Matt McGrath (February 15, 2019). "Climate strike". BBC. Retrieved June 24, 2019.