orthogon wrote:Fire Brns wrote:cream wobbly wrote:Mercurywoodrose wrote:funny how we have a 7 day week, in honor of the bible
The 7 day week predates the bible and the material that was cribbed from by quite a chunk.
Incidentally the chinese calender has 7 days, the last of which translates quite literally to Sunday.
It's Interesting that (according to Google Translate) Chinese has "Sun-day" but the other days are just numbered 星期一 ("weekday 1") to 星期六 ("weekday 6").
In Japanese all seven days have names like "sun-weekday": specifically (for Mon-Sun) moon(月) fire(火) water(水) wood/tree(木) metal/gold (金) earth (土) sun(日).
Those characters also correspond to the astronomical objects: Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sun; this is more or less the same mapping as in the Romance languages (lundi, mardi, mercredi...). Presumably this mapping was adopted from Europe at some time.
Saturday and Sunday presumably changed to "sabbath" and "Lord's day" in Latin round about the time of Emperor Constantine.
Question: did Chinese previously use the Sun+Moon+five "elements" names, but later drop them in favour of numbers except for Sunday? Was this a Communist-era "simplification"?
I've only just realised that in Japanese, 土星, which ought to mean "Planet Earth" actually means "Saturn". I predict that this will cause serious sat-nav screw-ups in the future.
Excelent point on the Chinese, I speak a bit of it so it skips my mind to point out the (self) obvious. 周 is an acceptable alternative to 星期. I'm not sure on your question of the elemental days and I will not rest untill I find an answer. Further anecdote both Chinese and Japanese months are ordered by counting month 1, month 2, month 3, ect...
EDIT: That was quick, this link appears to indicate the japanese week was based off of Chinese planet names and that my previous word suggestion came from Japan: http://www.cjvlang.com/Dow/dowchin.html