According to the International Standard (ISO 8601) for Calendar systems, Monday is the first day of the week. For us in the English speaking world, the name of Monday is derived from Old English Mōnandæg and Middle English Monenday, which means “Moon day”. The Old English names derived from Germanic languages which also translate to Moon.
Even the ancient Chinese words for Monday mean “Day of the Moon”. Monday can also be derived from Sanskrit Somavāra, where Soma is another day for the Moon. Now shouldn’t Moon Day be a special day for Pagans? I think so. But there’s more.
According to Wikipedia Weekday Names:
The earliest attestation of a seven-day week associated with heavenly luminaries is in the title of a lost work by Plutarch (46-120AD) titled Why are the days named after the planets reckoned in a different order from the actual order? The order of the days was Sun, Moon, Ares, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Cronos, named after the heavenly bodies that presided over the first daylight hour of each day, according to Hellenistic astrology. From Greece the planetary week names passed to the Romans, and from Latin to other languages of southern and western Europe, and to other languages later influenced by them.
Monday gets its bad rap from becoming the first day back to work in our modern culture. Prior to this, the only “day off” for the weekend was Sunday. Observed by Christianized cultures as the day of rest. Nothing is open, no one is working, it’s a day of reverence and rest. But as the world shrunk and people began to travel around the globe, non-Christianized cultures slowly began changing that observance. Well that and the greed of businesses.
It really wasn’t that long ago here the United States when most businesses, big and small, were closed on Sunday. I remember as a kid growing up outside Washington DC everyone was closed and everyone went to Church. You prepared on Saturday for what you needed on Sunday, because you couldn’t run up to the local shopping center and pick something up after church. But this is about Monday.
The idea of Monday being a day that no one looks forward to has worked its way through every country on the planet. More suicides occur on Mondays. More people call in sick on Mondays. More people goof off at work, on Mondays. Funny, most of us probably think that happens on Fridays. Even more surfing on the web happens on Mondays. It’s the all about me day.
But that’s not what inspired the Monday My Day perspective. We can give that idea to the French. Mon in french means My. And thus, My day is Monday. But the idea of making Monday “My Day” might have actually come from America’s former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. While in the White House Mrs. Roosevelt began writing a column that was released every Monday called “My Day”. The column was often written like a journal entry in a diary and outlined her thoughts on events that occurred on a particular day. Sometimes it was what happened on Sunday. Other times it was about a holiday or special event that occurred during the previous week.
Whither that was the inspiration or not, the idea of turning the negative connotation into something positive by thinking of it as your special day is catching on. I must thank my friend Angela at Shape Shifters – Central Virginia for turning me on to the idea. She shared a post on FB and it captured my attention. After a little research to find the origin of the idea, which I was unsuccessful in doing, I did learn a lot of other things about Monday that I thought were interesting.
But I did find a general theme through the many blogs and pictures about the idea. They go something like this:
Thanks for having the word “mon” in you. That’s french for “my.” In case you weren’t aware, Monday, a lot of people dread your arrival. But think of you as “Mon” day, makes me think of you more as “my day.” Frankly that sounds like a much more promising start to the week and a day I like to look forward to. So Thanks for being My Day!
I hope you all have a great “My” Day!
Read more about Monday on Wikipedia.
© 2014 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.