The Babylonians were the first authors of our modern week. They named their days after the five planetary bodies known to them: Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, as well as the sun and moon. This custom of naming days after celestial bodies was later adopted by Emperor Constantine who created a Roman calendar in 321 A.D. That’s why romantic languages like French, Spanish and Italian all have similar names for their days.
However, in England after the Romans retired, a lovely group of guy and gals called the Anglo-Saxons took over everything, including naming the days of the week. These cousins of The Vikings left their little Nordic stamp by naming Tuesday through to Friday after their gods, while keeping the Roman’s names for the other days.
Despite being the dreaded start of the work and school week, Monday is actually the second day of the week. Monday gets its name from the Anglo-Saxon word "mondandaeg" which translates to "the moon’s day." The second day of the week in Nordic cultures was devoted to worshipping the goddess of the moon. Girls born on Mondays were given the name Mona in Ancient Britain, as it was the Old English word for moon.
Illustrations by Mike Petherick