Saturday is the day of the week between Friday and Sunday. The Romans named Saturday S?turni di?s ("Saturn's Day") no later than the 2nd century for the planet Saturn, which controlled the first hour of that day, according to Vettius Valens. The day's name was introduced into West Germanic languages and is recorded in the Low German languages such as Middle Low German sater(s)dach, Middle Dutch saterdag (Modern Dutch zaterdag) and Old English Sætern(es)dæ? and Sæterdæ?. The day was also referred to as "Sæternes dæ?e" in an Old English translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. In Old English, Saturday was also known as sunnanæfen ("sun" + "eve" cf. dialectal German Sonnabend).
Between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, the Roman Empire gradually replaced the eight-day Roman nundinal cycle with the seven-day week. The astrological order of the days was explained by Vettius Valens and Dio Cassius (and Chaucer gave the same explanation in his Treatise on the Astrolabe). According to these authors, it was a principle of astrology that the heavenly bodies presided, in succession, over the hours of the day. The association of the weekdays with the respective deities is thus indirect, the days are named for the planets, which were in turn named for the deities.
The Germanic peoples adapted the system introduced by the Romans but glossed their indigenous gods over the Roman deities in a process known as interpretatio germanica. In the case of Saturday, however, the Roman name was borrowed directly by West Germanic peoples, apparently because none of the Germanic gods were considered to be counterparts of the Roman god Saturn. Otherwise Old Norse and Old High German did not borrow the name of the Roman god (Icelandic laugardagur, German Samstag).
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Saturdays are days on which the Theotokos (Mother of God) and All Saints are commemorated, and the day on which prayers for the dead are especially offered, in remembrance that it was on a Saturday that Jesus lay dead in the tomb. The Octoechos contains hymns on these themes, arranged in an eight-week cycle, that are chanted on Saturdays throughout the year. At the end of services on Saturday, the dismissal begins with the words: "May Christ our True God, through the intercessions of his most-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and right victorious Martyrs, of our reverend and God-bearing Fathers...". For the Orthodox, Saturday — with the sole exception of Holy Saturday — is never a strict fast day. When a Saturday falls during one of the fasting seasons (Great Lent, Nativity Fast, Apostles' Fast, Dormition Fast) the fasting rules are always lessened to an extent. The Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist are normally observed as strict fast days, but if they fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the fast is lessened.
Today, Saturday is officially called Samstag in all German-speaking countries, but there it has two names in modern Standard German. Samstag is always used in Austria, Liechtenstein, and the German-speaking part of Switzerland, and generally used in southern and western Germany. It derives from Old High German sambaztac, which itself derives from Greek ?, and this Greek word derives from Hebrew (Shabbat). However, the current German word for Sabbath is Sabbat. The second name for Saturday in German is Sonnabend, which derives from Old High German sunnunaband, and is closely related to the Old English word sunnanæfen. It means literally "Sun eve", i.e., "The day before Sunday". Sonnabend is generally used in northern and eastern Germany, and was also the official name for Saturday in East Germany.
In West Frisian there are also two words for Saturday. In Wood Frisian it is saterdei, and in Clay Frisian it is sneon, derived from snjoen, a combination of Old Frisian sunne, meaning sun and joen, meaning eve.
In the Westphalian dialects of Low Saxon, in East Frisian Low Saxon and in the Saterland Frisian language, Saturday is called Satertag, also akin to Dutch Zaterdag, which has the same linguistic roots as the English word Saturday. It was formerly thought that the English name referred to a deity named Sætere who was venerated by the pre-Christian peoples of north-western Germany, some of whom were the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons. Sætere was identified as either a god associated with the harvest of possible Slav origin, or another name for Loki a complex deity associated with both good and evil; this latter suggestion may be due to Jacob Grimm. However, modern dictionaries derive the name from Saturn.
In most languages of India, Saturday is Shaniv?ra, v?ra meaning day, based on Shani, the Vedic god manifested in the planet Saturn. In the Thai solar calendar of Thailand, the day is named from the Pali word for Saturn, and the color associated with Saturday is purple. In Pakistan, Saturday is Hafta, meaning the week. In Eastern Indian languages like Bengali Saturday is called Shonibar or meaning Saturn's Day and is the first day of the Bengali Week in the Bengali calendar. In Islamic countries, Fridays are considered as the last or penultimate day of the week and are holidays along with Thursdays or Saturdays; Saturday is called Sabt (cognate to Sabbath) and it is the first day of the week in many Arab countries but the Last Day in other Islamic countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Central Asian countries.
In Japanese, the word Saturday is (doy?bi), meaning 'soil day' and is associated with (dosei): Saturn (the planet), literally meaning "soil star". Similarly, in Korean the word Saturday is (tho yo il), also meaning earth day. The element Earth was associated with the planet Saturn in Chinese astrology and philosophy.
The modern Maori name for Saturday, rahoroi, literally means "washing-day" - a vestige of early colonized life when M?ori converts would set aside time on the Saturday to wash their whites for Church on Sunday. A common alternative M?ori name for Saturday is the transliteration Hatarei.
In Scandinavian countries, Saturday is called lördag, lørdag, or laurdag, the name being derived from the old word laugr/laug (hence Icelandic name Laugardagur), meaning bath, thus Lördag equates to bath-day. This is due to the Viking practice of bathing on Saturdays. The roots lör, laugar and so forth are cognate to the English word lye, in the sense of detergent. The Finnish and Estonian names for the day, lauantai and laupäev, respectively, are also derived from this term.
The international standard ISO 8601 sets Saturday as the sixth day of the week. The three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) regard Saturday as the seventh day of the week. As a result, many refused the ISO 8601 standards and continue to use Saturday as their seventh day.
For Jews, Messianics, Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh-day Adventists, the seventh day of the week, known as Shabbat (or Sabbath for Seventh-day Adventists), stretches from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday and is the day of rest. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches distinguish between Saturday (Sabbath) and the Lord's Day (Sunday). Other Protestant groups, such as Seventh-day Adventists, hold that the Lord's Day is the Sabbath, according to the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8),and not Sunday.
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.-- Exodus 20:10 King James Version
This section possibly contains original research. (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
In the 20th Century, many Friends began accepting use of the common date names, feeling that any pagan meaning has been forgotten. The numerical names continue to be used, however, in many documents and more formal situations."