Days of the week: Wednesday

This post is also available in: Italiano

Like Tuesday, Wednesday is not particularly significant in the Islamic world and, for this very reason, it is much more interesting to observe what it was associated with for a long time in the Roman and Germanic world.

On Wednesdays according to Zakariyya ibn Muhammad al Qazwini

It has little good. The last Wednesday of the month is a nefarious day, when it is considered good to take a hot bath.

“The wonders of creation”, Zakariyya ibn Muhammad al Qazwini

Odin’s day

As on Tuesday, this day is not particularly significant in the Islamic world and, precisely for this reason, it is decidedly more interesting to observe what it was associated with for a long time in the Roman and Germanic world. As already seen, every day was associated with a certain divinity and planet, in this case, however, working very imaginatively. If in Italian we call (what it is for us) the 3rd day of the week Mercole (-) day, thus associating it with Mercury, in the Teutonic world it takes the name of Wednesday, much less intuitive in the eyes of a Mediterranean inhabitant.

American Gods
In Neil Gaiman’s novel one of the protagonists is Odin who, not surprisingly, will take the name of Mr. Wednesday

The pairing is to be found this time in Woden, primitive name with which Odin was long identified as a divinity that the Romans believed was related to Mercury. This was due to his role as a psychopomp, or “escort of the dead” which, so to speak, akin to Anubis rather than Osiris or Horus; the lords of Rome, who used to “interpret” the divinities of others, then connected it to their messenger of the gods, thus leading to the birth of the word Wedne (- ‘) sday, still familiar to us today (in this respect , wonderful the work of Neil Gaiman in American Gods).

In Orient

In India it is called Budhavāra, or “Buddha‘s day”, while in the Arab, Turkish and Persian world it is called respectively: أربعاء / ʾarbiʿā, Çarşamba and چهارشنبه / Cheharshnbh; these always mean “the fourth”, only that the last two names technically mean “the fourth (day) from Saturday”.

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