Thursday is the fourth day of the week in most western countries and the fourth day of the week in the Judeo-Christian calendar, falling between Wednesday and Friday. In countries that adopt the "Sunday-first" convention, it is considered the fifth day of the week. However, in ISO 8601 it is the fourth day of the week.

Origins of the name

"See Days of the week for more on naming conventions."

The contemporary name comes from the Old English "Þunresdæg" (with loss of -n-, first in northern dialects, from influence of Old Norse "Þorsdagr"), meaning "Day of Thunor", this being a rough Germanic equivalent to the Latin "Iovis Dies", "Jupiter's Day". Most Germanic and Romance-speaking countries use their languages' equivalents: German "Donnerstag", Dutch "donderdag", "torsdag" in Scandinavia, Italian "giovedì", Spanish "jueves", French "jeudi", Catalan "dijous", and Romanian "joi".

In Latin the Genitive or possessive case of Jupiter was "Jovis" and as such in most Romance languages with the exception of Portuguese it became the word for Thursday: Latin "Jovis Dies", Spanish "Jueves", Italian "Giovedi", and Romanian "Joi".

In most of the Indian Languages the word for Thursday is "Guruvar", with "Guru" being the "Sanskrit" name for the planet Jupiter. In Slavic languages and in Chinese, this day's name is "fourth" (Polish "czwartek", Russian "четверг," pronounced CHET-vierg). Greek uses a number for this day: "Πέμπτη," "Pémpti," "Fifth," and Portuguese, too, uses a number for this day: "quinta-feira," "fifth day", (see days of the week for more on the different conventions).

The Urdu name for Thursday is Jumeraate (eve of Friday).

The Arabic for Thursday is Khamees (fifth day);Because the arabic week starts from Saturday.

Religious observances

In the Hindu religion, Thursday is "Guruvaar", from "Guru", the Sanskrit name for Jupiter, the largest of planets. Guruvaar fasting is very common throughout India for various holy/religious reasons.

In Judaism and Islam Thursdays are considered auspicious days for fasting. The Didache warned early Christians not to fast on Thursdays to avoid Judaizing, and suggested Fridays instead.

In Judaism the Torah is read in public on Thursday mornings, and special penitential prayers are said on Thursday, unless there is a special occasion for happiness which cancels them.

In the Christian tradition, Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter — the day on which the Last Supper occurred. Ascension Thursday is 40 days after Easter, when Christ ascended into Heaven.

In Catholic liturgy, Thursday is referred to in Latin as "feria quinta".

In the Eastern Orthodox Church. Thursdays are dedicated to the Apostles and Saint Nicholas. The Octoechos contains hymns on these themes, arranged in an eight-week cycle, that are chanted on Thursdays throughout the year. At the end of Divine Services on Thursday, the dismissal begins with the words: "May Christ our True God, through the intercessions of his most-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostles, of our Father among the saints Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, the Wonder-worker…"

Quakers traditionally refer to Thursday as "Fifth Day" eschewing the pagan origin of the English name "Thursday". The name of the day is also called by words meaning "fifth day" in Icelandic, Modern Greek, Portuguese, and modern Semitic languages.

Cultural references

In the nursery rhyme, "Thursday's Child has far to go".

In Thailand, the color associated with Thursday is orange, see Thai solar calendar.

Popular culture


Gabriel Syme, the main character was given the title of Thursday in G. K. Chesterton's novel "The Man Who Was Thursday."

In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams, the character Arthur Dent says "This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays". A few minutes later the planet Earth is destroyed. Thor, for whom the day was named, also appears later in the Hitchhiker's series and in other Adams books. Appropriately, in "The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul", one of the characters says to Thor: "I'm not used to spending the evening with someone who's got a whole day named after them".

In the cross media work "Thursday's fictions" by Richard James Allen and Karen Pearlman, Thursday is the title character, a woman who tries to cheat the cycle of reincarnation to get a form of eternal life. "Thursday's Fictions" which has been a stage production, a book, a film and an 3D online immersive world in Second Life. [ [ RealTime Arts - Magazine - issue 80 - dance film: spiritual odyssey ] ]

In Neil Gaiman's "American Gods", when Wednesday introduces himself, he remarks that given the weather (he and the main character are flying in a thunderstorm), it could be Thursday, as Thor was the god of thunder.

In "Breakfast at Tiffany's (novella)," Truman Capote writes of Holly Golightly: "'Thursday".' She stood up. 'My God,' she said, and sat down again with a moan. 'It's too gruesome.'"

"Thursday Next" is the central character in a series of novels by Jasper Fforde.

In Garth Nix's popular Keys to the Kingdom series, Thursday is an antagonist who is a personification of the actual day.

According to Nostradamus' prediction (Century 1, Quatrain 50), the Antichrist will be born of three water signs and takes Thursday as his Sabbath, or "Day of Feast." []


"Thursday" is the name of an episode of "Strange Days at Blake Holsey High". In the episode Corrine Baxter finds herself trapped in the same day over and over again, similar to the premise of the film Groundhog Day.


Thursday (1998 film) is a movie starring Thomas Jane about the day of a drug dealer gone straight, who gets pulled back into his old lifestyle.

"Thursday" is the name of an Italian neo realistic film of the 60s.


Thursday is a post-hardcore band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, formed in 1997.

"Thursday's Child" is a David Bowie song from the album "hours..."(1999).

"Thursday's Child" is a song by The Chameleons in "Script of the Bridge" (1983).

"Outlook for Thursday" was a hit in New Zealand for Dave Dobbyn.

In the Placebo song "Evil Dildo", the obscene telephone message is left on Thursday the 23rd of an unknown month and year. The day Thursday 23rd is often celebrated as Evil Dildo day by Placebo fans.

"The Tale Of The Magic Thursday" is a song from band Awaken from the album Tales Of Acid Ice Cream (1996).

Video Games

"Thursday" is an NPC in the online game Dragonfable.


Thursday is the day of the Second Round draw in the English League Cup.


Thursday is sometimes referred to as "Friday Eve" in anticipation for the end of the work week on Friday.

In college life is referred to as the new Friday because of drinking and parties.

In high schools in the United States during the 1960s, it was widely believed that if someone wore green on Thursdays, it meant that they were gay. [ Grahn, Judy "Another Mother Tongue" New York:1990--Beacon Press: This book discusses the origins of this curious belief. ]

Many office workers in the US observe "Red Shirt Thursdays" co-workers wear red as a sign of unity and patriotism.

Common occurences

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, all general elections since 1935 have been held on a Thursday, and this has become a tradition, although not a requirement of the law — which only states that an election may be held on any day "except Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday, bank holidays in any part of the United Kingdom and any day appointed for public thanksgiving and mourning". An explanation sometimes given for the choice of Thursday as polling day is that it was, in most towns, the traditional market day, although it has also been observed that the choice has practical advantages — with the outcome of the election being known by Friday, the new or continuing administration then has the weekend to organise itself in preparation for the "government shop opening for business" on Monday, the first day of the new week following the election. It is sometimes thought that Thursday was the chosen polling day as it is furthest from the Friday and Weekend before, making it therefore the day when people were most sober.Fact|date=June 2008

Additionally, local elections are usually held on the first Thursday in May.

The Thursday before Easter is also known as "Maundy Thursday" or "Sheer Thursday" in the United Kingdom, traditionally a day of cleaning and giving out Maundy money. The Electoral Administration Act 2006 removed Maundy Thursday as an excluded day on the electoral timetable - therefore an election can now be held on Maundy Thursday.

United States

In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is an annual festival celebrated on a Thursday in November, currently the fourth Thursday.


In Australia, most movies premiere in cinemas on Thursdays and on Thursday nights most shops are open later than on the other weekdays.


The astrological and astronomical sign of the planet Jupiter (.

Named days

*Black Thursday refers to October 24, 1929 when stock prices on the New York Stock Exchange fell sharply, with record volume of nearly 13 million shares. Five days later, the market crashed on volume of over 16 million shares – a level not to be surpassed for 39 years. In popular imagery, the crash has come to mark the beginning of the Great Depression.


*in northern France: Tardinghen (house of Tar) or Tardinghem (flamish) or Tardingham (English), name given to a village on the North sea border, by Saxons settled in the country at the end of the Roman empire. Formerly, it was a sanctuary and a fortress dedicated to Tar. Tar is the gaulish name of Thor.


External links

* [ Phra Phareuhadsabodih, the God of Thursday in Buddhist mythology]

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  • Thursday — O.E. Þurresdæg, perhaps a contraction (influenced by O.N. Þorsdagr) of Þunresdæg, lit. Thor s day, from Þunre, gen. of Þunor Thor (see THOR (Cf. Thor)); from P.Gmc. *thonaras daga (Cf. O.Fris. thunresdei, M.Du. donresdach, Du. donderdag, O.H …   Etymology dictionary

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