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For other uses, see Thursday (disambiguation).
Painting depicting the English god Thunor (the Norse Thor), after whom Thursday is named, by Mårten Eskil Winge, 1872

Thursday (Listeni/ˈθɜrzdi/ or /ˈθɜrzd/) is the day of the week following Wednesday and before Friday. According to the ISO 8601 international standard adopted in most western countries, it is the fourth day of the week. In countries that use the Sunday-first convention, Thursday is defined as the fifth day of the week. It is the fifth day of the week in the Judeo-Christian calendar as well, and was defined so in the ancient Mesopotamian and biblical calendars. The name is derived from Old English Þūnresdæg and Middle English Thuresday, which means "Thor's day".


The contemporary name comes from the Old English Þunresdæg, "Thunor's Day"[1][2][3] (with loss of -n-, first in northern dialects, from influence of Old Norse Þorsdagr, meaning "Thor's Day"). Thunor, Donar (German, Donnerstag) and Thor are derived from the Proto-Germanic god Thunraz, god of thunder.

Day name[edit]

See Week-day names for more on naming conventions.

Jupiter's day[edit]

In most Romance languages, the day is named after the Roman god Jupiter, who was the god of sky and thunder. In Latin, the day was known as Iovis Dies, "Jupiter's Day". In Latin, the genitive or possessive case of Jupiter was Iovis/Jovis and thus in most Romance languages it became the word for Thursday: Italian giovedì, Spanish jueves, French jeudi, Sardinian jòvia, Catalan dijous, and Romanian joi. This is also reflected in the p-Celtic Welsh dydd Iau.

In most of the languages of India, the word for Thursday is Guruvarvar meaning day and guru being the style for Bṛhaspati, guru to the gods and regent of the planet Jupiter. In Thai, the word is Wan Pharuehatsabodi – referring to the Hindu deity Bṛhaspati, also associated with Jupiter.

The astrological and astronomical sign of the planet Jupiter (♃Jupiter) is sometimes used to represent Thursday.

Thor's day[edit]

Since the Roman god Jupiter was identified with Thunor (Norse Thor in northern Europe), most Germanic languages name the day after this god: Torsdag in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, Hósdagur/Tórsdagur in Faroese, Donnerstag in German or Donderdag in Dutch. Finnish and Northern Sami, both non-Germanic (Uralic) languages, uses the borrowing "Torstai" and "Duorastat". In the extinct Polabian Slavic language, it was perundan, Perun being the Slavic equivalent of Thor.[4]

Fourth day[edit]

In Slavic languages and in Chinese, this day's name is "fourth" (Slovak štvrtok, Czech čtvrtek, Croatian and Bosnian četvrtak, Polish czwartek, Russian "четверг" četverg, Bulgarian "четвъртък", Serbian "четвртак", Macedonian "четврток", Ukrainian "четвер" chetver, Slovene četrtek.). Hungarian uses a Slavic loanword "csütörtök". In Chinese, it's 星期四 xīngqīsì ("fourth solar day"). In Estonian it's "neljapäev", meaning fourth day or fourth day in a week.

Fifth day[edit]

Greek uses a number for this day: Πέμπτη Pémpti "fifth," as does Portuguese: quinta-feira "fifth day," Hebrew: "יום חמישי" ("Yom Hamishi" - day fifth) often written 'יום ה ("Yom Hey" - 5th letter Hey day), and Arabic: "يوم الخميس" ("Yom al-Khamīs" - fifth day).

Portuguese, unlike other Romance languages, uses the word quinta-feira, meaning "fifth day of liturgical celebration", that comes from the Latin "feria quinta" used in religious texts where it was not allowed to consecrate days to pagan gods.

Icelandic also uses the term fifth day (Fimmtudagur) as one of the few Germanic languages not to call Thursday after Thor.

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

Quakers traditionally refer to Thursday as "Fifth Day" eschewing the pagan origin of the English name "Thursday".

Eve of Friday[edit]

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

Tree Day[edit]

In the Japanese and Korean languages, the days of the week are named after elements of nature e.g. Sun, Water. Thursday is called mokuyoubi (木曜日) in Japanese and mogyoil (목요일), with its representative element being wood or tree. It is probably associated with 木星 (mokusei/mokseong): Jupiter (the planet), literally meaning "wood star".

En's day[edit]

En was an old Illyrian deity and in his honor in the Albanian language Thursday is called "Enjte".[5]

Tezcatlipoca's day[edit]

In the Nahuatl language, Thursday is Tezcatlipotōnal (Nahuatl pronunciation: /teskat͡ɬipoˈtoːnaɬ/) meaning "day of Tezcatlipoca".

Thursday holidays[edit]

In the Christian tradition, Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter — the day on which the Last Supper occurred. Also known as Sheer Thursday in the United Kingdom, it is traditionally a day of cleaning and giving out Maundy money there. Holy Thursday is part of Holy Week.

Ascension Thursday is 40 days after Easter, when Christ ascended into Heaven.

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

Religious observances[edit]

In the Hindu religion, Thursday is Guruvaar (गुरुवार), from Guru, the Sanskrit name for Jupiter, the largest of planets.[6] Guruvaar fasting is very common throughout India for various holy/religious reasons. Guru also means "Teacher" - referring to the role that Brhaspati, the God of the planet Jupiter, has as teacher of all the gods. For this reason, in Buddhist Thailand Thursday is considered the "Teacher's Day", and it is believed that one should begin one's education on this auspicious day. Thai students still pay homages to their teachers in specific ceremony always held on a selected Thursday. And graduation day in Thai universities, which can vary depending on each university, almost always will be held on a Thursday.

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 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…"

Cultural practices[edit]

In Australia, most cinema movies premieres are held on Thursdays. Also, most Australians are paid on a Thursday, either weekly or fortnightly. Shopping malls see this as an opportunity to open longer than usual, generally until 9 pm, as most pay cheques are cleared by Thursday morning.

In Norway, Thursday has also traditionally been the day when most shops and malls are open later than on the other weekdays, although the majority of shopping malls now are open until 8 pm or 9 pm every weekday.

In the USSR of the 1970s and 1980s Thursday was the "Fish Day" (Russian: Рыбный день, Rybny den), when the nation's foodservice establishments were supposed to serve fish (rather than meat) dishes.[7]

Thirsty Thursday[edit]

For college and university students, Thursday is sometimes referred to as the new Friday. There are often fewer or sometimes no classes on Fridays and more opportunities to hold parties on Thursday night and sleep in on Friday. As a consequence, some call Thursday "thirstday" or "thirsty Thursday".[8]

Events held on Thursdays[edit]

Elections in the United Kingdom[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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

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, prior to this elections were sometimes scheduled on the Tuesday before as an alternative.

Academic Results[edit]

Both GCSE and A Level results (for the summer exam period) are traditionally given to students on a Thursday, A Level results day is usually the third Thursday of August whilst GCSE results day is a week later.


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

Historical Thursdays[edit]

  • 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.

Colour associations[edit]

In the Thai solar calendar, the colour associated with Thursday is orange.

In high schools in the United States during the 1950s and the 1960s, it was believed that if someone wore green on Thursdays, it meant that he or she was gay.[9]

Popular culture[edit]

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


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

Sweet Thursday is a novel by John Steinbeck (the sequel to his novel Cannery Row). The titular day, the author explains, is the day after Lousy Wednesday, and the day before Waiting Friday.

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. 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 has been a stage production, a book, a film and an 3D online immersive world in Second Life.[10]

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

In Garth Nix's popular The 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), a powerful (but otherwise unidentified) leader who will threaten "the East" will be born of three water signs and takes Thursday as his feast day.[11]


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.

The Thursday is a 1963 Italian film.



  1. ^ "Website Disabled". Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  4. ^ Selected writings: Comparative Slavic studies - Roman Jakobson - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  5. ^ Lurker, Manfred. The Routledge Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons, Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005. p.57
  6. ^ "Gujarati Days Of Week - Gujarati Language (ગુજરાતી)". Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  7. ^ Petrosian, Irina; Underwood, David (2006), Armenian Food: Fact, Fiction & Folklore, Armenian Research Center collection (2 ed.), p. 115, ISBN 1411698657 
  8. ^ Hafner, Katie (November 6, 2005). "How Thursday Became the New Friday". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2010. 
  9. ^ Judy Grahn, Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds, updated and expanded edition (Boston: Beacon Press, 1990): 76–81. ISBN 0-8070-7911-1.
  10. ^ "Magazine - issue 80 - dance film: spiritual odyssey". RealTime Arts. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  11. ^ Nostradamus. "Century 1 - Quatrain 50". Nostradamus Quatrains. Retrieved 2012-08-06.