Laugardagr: Saturday is Loki’s Day (Lokedagr)

LaugardagrThe names of the days of the week have always interested me. Particularly, I remember wondering as a child while taking a German class;

Why were the names of the week adopted from deities?

Recently, my curiosity about the origins of the Days of the week returned and I began to wonder why Saturday seems not to fit with the others.
 

We have Tyr’s Day.

We have Wotan’s Day.

We have Thor’s Day.

We have Frigg’s Day.

But why was it, out of these do we have Saturn’s Day. It seemed out of place.

Originally this day was known in Old Norse as Laugardagr, which literally translates into “bath day.” This was based on a tradition in which many European countries practiced ritual bathing before Sunday. This, however, doesn’t paint the full picture of Laugardagr and probably expresses something more of a legend or myth than the actual roots of the word as various and more popular words for bath (laug) existed. Any case, it definitely serves as an adaptation that perhaps was used to serve the Christianization of Europe as Paganism was uprooted (but not entirely – as we all know.)

Some scholars have suggested that Laugardagr was actually named after Loki. “Loke,” being an Lokis Dayabbreviation and later adaptation from the word “Lodurr” – suggesting that Laugardagr is also a name that is based upon a one of our gods. Important to note here, is that Loki is only the adaptation we have come to know, as the various tribes had various pronunciations of the same gods.

However, Laugardagr was gradually replaced by the Latin, “dies Saturni.” By 450 A.D. the continental Anglican tribes were using this term suggesting that Saturday may not be named after the Roman god Saturn, but instead after the Celtic god “Sæter(n)e.”

What This All Means

The takeway from all of this is that Saturday proper is not Saturn’s Day, but Loki’s Day. Or Loki Dagr. It could also be viewed as Sæter Day for those who fall under the Celtic Pantheon. For whatever reason, the name has been shifted throughout time to be attributed to dies Saturni. For us however, for those who Honor the Roots, we shall remember that Saturday is Loki’s Day.


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1 Response

  1. Øivind H. Bechensten says:

    Weekdays in Norwegian “Nynorsk” (based on/compiled from rural dialects/remnants from Old [Western] Norse):

    Måndag
    Tysdag
    Onsdag
    Torsdag
    Fredag
    Laurdag
    Sundag

    Weekdays in Norwegian “Bokmål” (Danish-influenced Norwegian, based on sociolects primarily from Norway’s capital Oslo as well as other major cities and trade centers):

    Mandag
    Tirsdag
    Onsdag
    Torsdag
    Fredag
    Lørdag
    Søndag

    I like your site. Keep up the good work!

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