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Friday (pron:ˈfraɪdeɪ, ˈfraɪdi) is the day of the week falling between Thursday and Saturday. In ISO 8601, and in countries adopting Monday-first conventions, it is the fifth day of the week. It is the sixth day in countries that adopt a Sunday-first convention and in traditional Abrahamic tradition.

In most countries with a five-day work week, Friday is the last workday before the weekend and is, therefore, viewed as a cause for celebration or relief (leading to the phrase "TGIF", for "Thank God It's Friday"). In recent years, in some offices, employees are allowed to wear less formal attire on Fridays, known as Casual Friday or Dress-Down Friday.

In Saudi Arabia and Iran, however, Friday is the last day of the weekend and Saturday is the first workday. Moreover, in some countries, Friday is the first day of the weekend, and Sunday is the first workday. In Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Kuwait, Friday was formerly the last day of the weekend while Saturday was the first workday. However, this was changed in Bahrain and the U.A.E. on 1 September 2006[1] to Friday as the first day of the weekend and Sunday as the beginning of the workday, with Kuwait following on 1 September 2007.[2]

Etymology

The name Friday comes from the Old English frīgedæg, meaning the day of Frige the Old English form of Frigg, a West Germanic translation of Latin dies Veneris, "day of Venus." However, in most Germanic languages the day is named after Freyja—such as Frīatag in Old High German, Freitag in Modern German, Freyjudagr in Old Norse, Vrijdag in Dutch, Fredag in Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish—but Freyja and Frigg are frequently identified with each other.

The word for Friday in most Romance languages is derived from Latin dies Veneris, "day of Venus" (a translation of Greek Aphrodites hemera) such as vendredi in French, venerdì in Italian, viernes in Spanish, and vineri in Romanian. This is also reflected in the Welsh language as dydd 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 it was not allowed to consecrate days to pagan gods.

In most of the Arabian languages, Friday is Jumma-tul-Mubarak (or a derived variation of Jumma),

In most of the Indian languages, Friday is Shukravar (or a derived variation of Sukravar), named for Shukra, the Sanskrit name of the planet Venus.

In most Slavic languages an ordinal number is used in the name for this day of the week: Belarusian Пятніца, Bulgarian Петък, Czech pátek, Polish Piątek, Russian Пятница, Serbian петак, Serbo-Croation Petak, Slovene Petek, and Ukrainian П'ятниця all mean "fifth (day)". Similarly, the Portuguese is sexta-feira, the sixth day.

Folklore

In some cultures, Friday is considered unlucky. 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. In the 19th century Admiral William Henry Smyth, writing in his nautical lexicon The Sailor's Word-Book, described Friday as

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

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

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

"Though Friday 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."[3]

In modern times, Friday the 13th is considered to be especially unlucky, due to the conjunction of Friday with the unlucky number thirteen.

In astrology, Friday is connected with the planet Venus. It is also connected with the Astrologica signs Libra and Taurus.

Statistical anomaly

The use of the Gregorian calendar and its leap year system results in a small statistical anomaly, that the 13th of any month is slightly more likely to fall on a Friday than any of the other six days.[4] The figures are 688/4800 (43/300) which is .1433333..., being greater than 1 in 7 by just 0.3%.

After the United States acquired Alaska from Russia in 1867, Friday, October 6, was immediately followed by Friday, October 18, adjusting to the adoption of the 1582 Gregorian calendar changes by the British colonies in 1752, and the shifting of the International Date Line. Prior to that change, Alaska began Russia's day, with the date line following the partially-defined border between Russian Alaska and British North America, including the colony of British Columbia.

Religious observances

In Islam, Friday is the day of public worship in mosques. According to some Islamic traditions, the day is stated to be the original day ordained by God, but that now Jews and Christians recognize the days after.[5][6] In some Islamic countries, the week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday, just like the Jewish and Christian week. In most other Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran & Iraq, the week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday. Friday is also the day of rest in the Bahá'í Faith.[7]

In Christianity Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.

Traditionally, Roman Catholics were obliged to refrain from eating the meat of land animals on Fridays, although fish was allowed. However, episcopal conferences are now authorized to allow some other form of penance to replace abstinence from meat. Many still choose the traditional form of Friday penance.

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.[8]

Some Anglo-Catholics also practice abstinence either on all Fridays or on Fridays in Lent. More generally, traditional Anglican Prayer Books prescribe weekly Friday abstinence for all Anglicans.[9][10]

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., four-footed animals), poultry and dairy products. 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). For the Orthodox, Fridays throughout the year commemorate the Crucifixion of Jesus 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 begin with the words: "May Christ our true God, through the power of the precious and life-giving cross...."

Quakers traditionally refer to Friday as "Sixth Day" eschewing the pagan origins of the name. In Slavic countries, it is called "Fifth Day" (Polish piątek, Russian пятницаpyatnitsa).

The Jewish Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday and lasts until nightfall on Saturday.

In Thailand, the color associated with Friday is blue, see Thai solar calendar.

Parasceve

Parasceve (Greek paraskevé) seems to have supplanted the older term, prosábbaton 'pre-sabbath', used in the translation of Judith, viii, 6, and in the title –not to be found in Hebrew– of Psalm 92 (93). It became, among Hellenistic Jews, the name for Friday, and was adopted by Greek ecclesiastical writers after the writing of "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles". Apparently it was first applied by the Jews to the afternoon of Friday, then to the whole day, its etymology pointing to the "preparations" to be made for the Sabbath, as indicated in the King James Bible, where the Greek word is translated by "Day of Preparation". That the regulations of the Law might be minutely observed, it was made imperative to have on the Parasceve, three meals of the choicest food laid ready before sunset (the Sabbath beginning on Friday night); it was forbidden to undertake in the afternoon of the sixth day any business which might extend to the Sabbath; Augustus relieved the Jews from certain legal duties from the ninth hour (Josephus, "Antiq. Jud.", XVI, vi, 2).

Parasceve seems to have been applied also to the eve of certain festival days of a sabbatic character. Foremost among these was the first day of the unleavened bread, Nisan 15. We learn from the Mishna (Pesach., iv, 1, 5) that the Parasceve of the Pasch, on whatever day of the week it fell, was kept even more religiously than the ordinary Friday, in Judaea work ceasing at noon, and in Galilee the whole day being free. In the schools the only question discussed regarding this particular Parasceve was, when should the rest commence: Shammai said from the very beginning of the day (evening of Nisan 13); Hillel said only from after sunrise (morning of Nisan 14).

The use of the word Parasceve in the Gospels raises the question concerning the actual day of Christ's crucifixion. All the Evangelists state that Jesus died on the day of the Parasceve (Matthew 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14, 31), and there can be no doubt from Luke 23:54-56 and John 19:31, that this was Friday, but on what day of the month of Nisan did that particular Friday fall? Saint John distinctly points to Nisan 14, while the Synoptics, by implying that the Last Supper was the Paschal meal, convey the impression that Jesus was crucified on Nisan 15. But this is hardly reconcilable with the following facts: after the Supper, he and his disciples left the city, as also did the men detailed to arrest him–this, on Nisan 15, would have been contrary to Exodus 12:22; the next morning the Jews had not yet eaten the Passover; moreover, during that day the Council convened; Simon was apparently coming from work (Luke 23:26); Jesus and the two robbers were executed and were taken down from the crosses; Joseph of Arimathea bought fine linen (Mark 15:46), and Nicodemus brought "a mixture of myrrh and aloes about an hundred pound weight" (John 19:39) for the burial; lastly the women prepared spices for the embalming of the Saviour's body (Luke 23:55)–all things which would have been a desecration on Nisan 15. Most commentators, whether they think the Last Supper to have been the Paschal meal or an anticipation thereof, hold that Christ, as Saint John states, was crucified on the Parasceve of the Pasch, Friday, Nisan 14.

Named days

  • Good Friday is the Friday before Easter in the Christian calendar. It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.
  • Black Friday refers to any one of several historical disasters that happened on Fridays.
  • In the United States, Black Friday is also the nickname of the day after Thanksgiving, the first day of the traditional Christmas shopping season.
  • Casual Friday (also called Dress-down Friday or Aloha Friday) is a relaxation of the formal dress code employed by some corporations for that one day of the week.
  • POETS Day is a term used by workers in the United Kingdom and Australia to refer to Friday being the last day of the work week. It commonly stands for Piss Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday.[11]

References

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