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For most Christians, Sunday is observed as a day of worship and rest, holding it as the Lord's Day and the day of Christ's resurrection. In some Muslim countries and Israel, Sunday is the first work day of the week. According to the Hebrew calendars and traditional Christian calendars, Sunday is the first day of the week. However, according to the International Organization for Standardization ISO 8601, Sunday is the seventh and last day of the week. No century in the Gregorian calendar starts on a Sunday, whether its first year is considered to be '00 or '01. The Jewish New Year never falls on a Sunday. The rules of the Hebrew calendar are designed such that the first day of Rosh Hashanah will never occur on the first, fourth, or sixth day of the Jewish week (Sunday, Wednesday or Friday).
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Position in the week
- 3 Sunday in Christianity
- 4 Common occurrences on Sunday
- 5 Astrology
- 6 Named days
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 Sources
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Sunday, being the day of the Sun, as the name of the first day of the week, is derived from Hellenistic astrology, where the seven planets, known in English as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, each had an hour of the day assigned to them, and the planet which was regent during the first hour of any day of the week gave its name to that day. During the 1st and 2nd century, the week of seven days was introduced into Rome from Egypt, and the Roman names of the planets were given to each successive day.
Germanic peoples seem to have adopted the week as a division of time from the Romans, but they changed the Roman names into those of corresponding Teutonic deities. Hence, the dies Solis became Sunday (German, Sonntag).
The English noun Sunday derived sometime before 1250 from sunedai, which itself developed from Old English (before 700) Sunnandæg (literally meaning "sun's day"), which is cognate to other Germanic languages, including Old Frisian sunnandei, Old Saxon sunnundag, Middle Dutch sonnendach (modern Dutch zondag), Old High German sunnun tag (modern German Sonntag), and Old Norse sunnudagr (Danish and Norwegian søndag, Icelandic sunnudagur and Swedish söndag). The Germanic term is a Germanic interpretation of Latin dies solis ("day of the sun"), which is a translation of the Ancient Greek heméra helíou. The p-Celtic Welsh language also translates the Latin "day of the sun" as dydd Sul.
In most Indian languages, the word for Sunday is Ravivāra or Adityavāra or its derived forms — vāra meaning day, Aditya and Ravi both being a style (manner of address) for Surya, the chief solar deity and one of the Adityas. Ravivāra is first day cited in Jyotish, which provides logical reason for giving the name of each week day. In the Thai solar calendar of Thailand, the name ("Waan Arthit") is derived from Aditya, and the associated color is red.
In Russian the word for Sunday is Воскресенье (Voskreseniye) meaning "Resurrection". In other Slavic languages the word means "no work", for example Polish: Niedziela, Ukrainian: Недiля, Belorussian: Нядзеля, Croatian: Nedjelja, Serbian and Slovenian: Nedelja, Czech: Neděle, and Bulgarian: Неделя.
The Modern Greek word for Sunday, Greek: Κυριακή, is derived from Greek: Κύριος (Kyrios, Lord) also, due to its liturgical significance as the day commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, i.e. The Lord's Day.
Position in the week
The international standard ISO 8601 for representation of dates and times, states that Monday is the first day of the week. This method of representing dates and times unambiguously was first published in 1988.
Culture and languages
In the Judaic, some Christian, as well as in some Islamic tradition, Sunday has been considered the first day of the week. A number of languages express this position either by the name for the day or by the naming of the other days. In Hebrew it is called יום ראשון yom rishon, in Arabic الأحد al-ahad, in Persian and related languages یکشنبه yek-shanbe, all meaning "first". In Greek, the names of the days Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday ("Δευτέρα", "Τρίτη", "Τετάρτη" and "Πέμπτη") mean "second", "third", "fourth", and "fifth" respectively. This leaves Sunday in the first position of the week count. The current Greek name for Sunday, Κυριακή (Kyriake), means "Lord's Day" coming from the word Κύριος (Kyrios), which is the Greek word for "Lord". Similarly in Portuguese, where the days from Monday to Friday are counted as Segunda-feira, Terça-feira, Quarta-feira, Quinta-feira and Sexta-feira, while Sunday itself similar to Greek has the name of "Lord's Day" (Domingo). In Vietnamese, the working days in the week are named as: "Thứ Hai" (second day), "Thứ Ba" (third day), "Thứ Tư" (fourth day), "Thứ Năm" (fifth day), "Thứ Sáu" (sixth day), "Thứ Bảy" (seventh day). Sunday is called "Chủ Nhật", a corrupted form of "Chúa Nhật" meaning "Lord's Day." Some colloquial text in the south of Vietnam and from the church may still use the old form to mean Sunday.
In Italian Sunday is called "Domenica", which also means "Lord's Day" (from Latin "Dies Dominica"). One finds similar cognates in French, where the name is "Dimanche", as well as Romanian ("Duminică") and Spanish and Portuguese ("Domingo").
Slavic languages implicitly number Monday as day number one, not two. For example, Polish has czwartek (4th) for Thursday and piątek (5th) for Friday. Hungarian péntek (Friday) is a Slavic loanword, so the correlation with "five" is not evident to Hungarians. Hungarians use Vasárnap for Sunday, which means "market day". Bulgarian понеделник and Russian понедельник (Monday) literally mean "after no work", Russian вторник (Tuesday) means "second day", среда (Wednesday) means "middle day", четверг (Thursday) means "fourth day", пятница (Friday) means "fifth day", суббота (Saturday) means "sabbath", and воскресение (Sunday) means "resurrection (of Jesus)" (that is the day of a week which commemorates it). In Old Russian Sunday was also called неделя "free day" or "day with no work", but in the contemporary language this word means "week".
In the Maltese language, due to its Siculo-Arabic origin, Sunday is called "Il-Ħadd", a corruption of "wieħed" meaning "one". Monday is "It-Tnejn" meaning "two". Similarly Tuesday is "It-Tlieta" (three), Wednesday is "L-Erbgħa" (four) and Thursday is "Il-Ħamis" (five).
In Armenian, Monday is (Yerkoushabti) literally meaning 2nd day of the week, Tuesday (Yerekshabti) 3rd day, Wednesday (Chorekshabti) 4th day, Thursday (Hingshabti) 5th day. Saturday is (Shabat) coming from the word Sabbath or Shabbath in Hebrew, and "Kiraki" coming from the word "Krak" meaning "fire" is Sunday, "Krak" describing the sun by fire. Apostle John also refers to the "Lord's Day" (in Greek, Κυριακή ἡμέρα, "kyriake hemera" i.e. the day of the Lord) in Rev. 1:10, which is another possible origin of the Armenian word for Sunday.
In the Persian calendar, Sunday is the second day of the week. However, it is called "number one" as counting starts from zero; the first day - Saturday - is denoted as 00.
Sunday in Christianity
In Roman culture, Sunday was the day of the Sun god. It was adopted by Christians who did not have a Jewish background. In paganism, the sun was a source of life, giving warmth and illumination to mankind. It was the center of a popular cult among Romans, who would stand at dawn to catch the first rays of sunshine as they prayed. The celebration of the winter solstice (which influenced Christmas) was part of the Roman cult of the sun. Christian churches were built with an orientation so that the congregation faced toward the sunrise in the East.
On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.
In 363, Canon 29 of the Council of Laodicea prohibited observance of the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday), and encouraged Christians to work on the Saturday and rest on the Lord's Day (Sunday). The fact that the canon had to be issued at all is an indication that adoption of Constantine's decree of 321 was still not universal, not even among Christians. It also indicates that Jews were observing the Sabbath on the Saturday.
Some Christian denominations, called "Sabbatarians", observe a Saturday Sabbath. The name "Sabbatarian" has also been claimed by Christians, especially Protestants, who believe Sunday must be observed with just the sort of rigorous abstinence from work associated with "Shabbat". More recently, Christians in the Seventh-day Adventist, Seventh Day Baptist, and Church of God (Seventh-Day) denominations, as well as many Messianic Jews, have revived the practice of abstaining from work and gathering for worship on Saturdays.
For most Christians the custom and obligation of Sunday rest is not as strict. A minority of Christians do not regard the day they attend church as important, so long as they attend, as the apostles and disciples gathered on Sundays, on Saturdays, and whenever they could. There is considerable variation in the observance of Sabbath rituals and restrictions, but some cessation of normal weekday activities is customary. Many Christians today observe Sunday as a day of church-attendance and as the seventh day of the week.
In Roman Catholic liturgy, Sunday begins on Saturday evening. The evening Mass on Saturday is liturgically a full Sunday Mass and fulfills the obligation of Sunday Mass attendance, and Vespers (evening prayer) on Saturday night is liturgically "first Vespers" of the Sunday. The same evening anticipation applies to other major solemnities and feasts, and is an echo of the Jewish practice of starting the new day at sunset. Those who work in the medical field, in law enforcement, and soldiers in a war zone are dispensed from the usual obligation to avoid attending Church on Sunday. Work after religious services is encouraged.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Sunday begins at the Little Entrance of Vespers (or All-Night Vigil) on Saturday evening and runs until "Vouchsafe, O Lord" (after the "prokeimenon") of Vespers on Sunday night. During this time, the dismissal at all services begin with the words, "May Christ our True God, who rose from the dead ...." Anyone who wishes to receive Holy Communion at Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning is required to attend Vespers the night before (see Eucharistic discipline). Among Orthodox Christians, Sunday is considered to be the seventh-day of the week and a "Little Pascha" (Easter), and because of the Paschal joy, the making of prostrations is forbidden, except in certain circumstances. Families and communities, working and requiring somebody else to work are encouraged after prayers in church, including buying goods or services, use of public transport, gardening or driving or washing a car.[verification needed] Leisure activities and idleness, being secular and offensive to Christ as it is time-wasting, is prohibited.
Some languages lack separate words for "Saturday" and "Sabbath" (e. g. Italian, Portuguese). Outside the English-speaking world, Sabbath as a word, if it is used, refers to the Saturday (or the specific Jewish practices on it); Sunday may not be called the Lord's Day  (Isaiah 58:13) (even though directly or etymologically is the actual name of the day in Romance languages and Modern Greek). On the other hand, English-speaking Christians often refer to the Sunday as the Sabbath (other than Seventh-day Sabbatarians); a practice which, probably due to the international connections and the Latin tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, is more widespread among (but not limited to) Protestants. Quakers traditionally refer to Sunday as "First Day" eschewing the pagan origin of the English name, while referring to Saturday as the "Seventh day".
The Russian word for Sunday is "Voskresenie," meaning "Resurrection day." The Greek word for Sunday is "Kyriake" (the "Lord's Day"). The Czech, Polish, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Ukrainian and Belarusian words for Sunday ("neděle," "niedziela," "nedelja", "Nedjelja," "недеља", "неділя" and "нядзеля" respectively) can be translated as "without acts (no work)."
Common occurrences on Sunday
In government and business
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In the United States and Canada, most government offices are closed on both Saturday and Sunday. A few will be open on Saturdays and a very small number will be open on Sunday. In major cities like San Francisco and Washington, DC, for example, a few branches of the US Postal Service are open on Sunday as well as Saturday; and a few branches of federal banks are also open on Saturday and Sunday.
Many private sector retail businesses open later and close earlier on Sunday. Business offices that are neither retail nor manufacturing outlets, such as corporate headquarters, are typically closed on both Saturday and Sunday. Large manufacturing plants, by contrast, typically operate one to three shifts every day of the week.
Many countries, particularly in Europe such as France, Germany and Belgium, but also in other countries such as Peru, hold their national and local elections on a Sunday, either by law or by tradition.
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Many American and British daily newspapers publish a larger edition on Sundays, which often includes color comic strips, a magazine, and a coupon section; may only publish on a Sunday, or may have a "sister-paper" with a different masthead that only publishes on a Sunday.
North American Radio stations often play specialty radio shows such as Casey Kasem's countdown or other nationally syndicated radio shows that may differ from their regular weekly music patterns on Sunday morning and/or Sunday evening. In the United Kingdom, there is a Sunday tradition of chart shows on BBC Radio 1 and commercial radio; this originates in the broadcast of chart shows and other populist material on Sundays by Radio Luxembourg when the Reithian BBC's Sunday output consisted largely of solemn and religious programmes. However, BBC Radio 1's chart show moved to Fridays in July 2015.
Period and/or older-skewing television dramas, such as Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Lark Rise to Candleford and Heartbeat are commonly shown on Sunday evenings in the UK; the first of these was Dr Finlay's Casebook in the 1960s. Similarly, Antiques Roadshow has been shown on Sundays on BBC1 since 1979 and Last of the Summer Wine was shown on Sundays for many years until it ended in 2009.
Many American, Australian and British television networks and stations also broadcast their political interview shows on Sunday mornings.
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Major League Baseball usually schedules all Sunday games in the daytime except for the nationally televised Sunday Night Baseball matchup. Certain historically religious cities such as Boston and Baltimore among others will schedule games no earlier than 1:35 PM to ensure time for people who go to religious service in the morning can get to the game in time.
In the United States, professional American football is usually played on Sunday, although Saturday (via Saturday Night Football), Monday (via Monday Night Football), and Thursday (via Thursday Night Football or Thanksgiving) see some professional games. College football usually occurs on Saturday, and high-school football tends to take place on Friday night or Saturday afternoon.
In the UK, some club and Premier League football matches and tournaments usually take place on Sundays. Rugby matches and tournaments usually take place in club grounds or parks on Sunday mornings. It is not uncommon for church attendance to shift on days when a late morning or early afternoon game is anticipated by a local community.
One of the remains of religious segregation in the Netherlands is seen in amateur football: The Saturday-clubs are by and large Protestant Christian clubs, who were not allowed to play on Sunday. The Sunday-clubs were in general Catholic and working class clubs, whose players had to work on Saturday and therefore could only play on Sunday.
In Ireland, Gaelic football and hurling matches are predominantly played on Sundays, with the first (used to be second) and fourth (used to be third) Sundays in September always playing host to the All-Ireland hurling and football championship finals, respectively.
Professional golf tournaments traditionally end on Sunday.
In the United States and Canada, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League games, which are usually played at night during the week, are frequently played during daytime hours - often broadcast on national television.
Most NASCAR Sprint Cup and IndyCar events are held on Sundays. Formula One World Championship races are always held on Sundays regardless of timezone/country, while MotoGP holds most races on Sundays, with Middle Eastern races being the exception on Saturday. All Formula One events and MotoGP events with Sunday races involve qualifying taking place on Saturday.
Sunday is associated with the Sun and is symbolized by ☉.
- Advent Sunday
- Black Sunday
- Bloody Sunday
- Cold Sunday
- Easter Sunday represents the resurrection of Christ
- Gaudete Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent.
- Gloomy Sunday
- Good Shepherd Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Easter.
- Laetare Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent.
- Low Sunday, first Sunday after Easter, is also known as the Octave of Easter, White Sunday, Quasimodo Sunday, Alb Sunday, Antipascha Sunday, and Divine Mercy Sunday.
- Passion Sunday, the fifth Sunday of Lent as the beginning of Passiontide (since 1970 for Roman Catholics in the ordinary form of the rite, the term remains only official among the greater title of the Palm Sunday, which used to be also the "2nd Sunday of Passiontide")
- Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter.
- Selection Sunday
- Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima Sunday are the last three Sundays before Lent. Quinquagesima ("fiftieth"), is the fiftieth day before Easter, reckoning inclusively; but Sexagesima is not the sixtieth day and Septuagesima is not the seventieth but is the sixty-fourth day prior. The use of these terms was abandoned by the Catholic Church in the 1970 calendar reforms (the Sundays before Lent are now simply "Sundays in ordinary time" with no special status). However, their use is still continued in Lutheran tradition: for example, "Septuagesimae".
- Shavuot is the Jewish Pentecost, or 'Festival of Weeks'. For Karaite Jews it always falls on a Sunday.
- Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent.
- Super Bowl Sunday
- Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost.
- Whitsunday "White Sunday" is the day of Pentecost.
- After Saturday Comes Sunday
- Blue laws
- Saint Kyriake
- Sol Invictus
- Sunday Christian
- Sunday (computer virus)
- Sunday Island
- Sunday league football
- Sunday Morning
- Sunday roast
- Sunday school
- Sunday shopping
- ISO 8601:2004(E), "Monday shall be identified as calendar day  of any calendar week, and subsequent calendar days of the same calendar week shall be numbered in ascending sequence to Sunday (calendar day )." Further discussion: UK National Physical Laboratory: "Which is the first day of the week? And which is week 1 of the year? (FAQ - Time)": |http://www.npl.co.uk/science-technology/time-frequency/time/faqs/which-is-the-first-day-of-the-week-and-which-is-week-1-of-the-year-(faq-time) (Archive here: http://archive.is/SMEAx)
- "Return of the calendar 1582–3000". Hf.rim.or.jp. 2007-09-24. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- Barnhart (1995:778).
- "ДНИ НЕДЕЛИ - СЛАВЯНСКАЯ СЕДЬМИЦА". Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- J. R. Stockton. "Calendar Weeks". Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- Owen Chadwick (1998). A History of Christianity. St. Martin's Press. p. 22.
- Zerubavel, Eviatar (1989). The Seven Day Circle: The History and Meaning of the Week. University of Chicago Press. p. 45. ISBN 9780226981659.
- Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church: Vol. II: From Constantine the Great to Gregory the Great A.D. 311–600 (New York: Charles Scribner, 1867) page 380 note 1.
- The Chronography of 354, Part 6: The calendar of Philocalus A–G is the seven day week and A–H is the nundial cycle.
- "Canon 29 of the Council of Laodicea". Ccel.org. 2005-06-01. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- Jamieson,Robert, D.D.; Fauset, A.R.;Brown, David."Commentary on Isaiah 58:13"."Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible"."www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-58.html"1871-8.
- BBC News
- The Kaleidoscope British Independent Television Drama Research Guide 1955-2010 and The Kaleidoscope BBC Television Drama Research Guide 1936-2011, Kaleidoscope Publishing
- BBC Genome Project
- The British Television Comedy Research Guide 1936-2011, Kaleidoscope Publishing, 2011
- Barnhart, Robert K. (1995). The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology. Harper Collins. ISBN 0-06-270084-7
- Bacchiocchi, Samuele. From Sabbath to Sunday: a historical investigation of the rise of Sunday observance in early Christianity (Pontifical Gregorian University, 1977)
- Cotton, John Paul. From Sabbath to Sunday: a study in early Christianity (1933)
- Kraft, Robert A. "Some Notes on Sabbath Observance in Early Christianity." Andrews University Seminary Studies (1965) 3: 18-33. online
- Land, Gary. Historical Dictionary of the Seventh-day Adventists] (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014)
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