Tuesday

Yesterday, September 22nd was Tuesday

Most countries of the world now perceive Tuesday as the second day of the week, right after Monday. Such a sequence has also been officially established by ISO 8601. According to the biblical tradition, however, Tuesday used to be the third day of the week, and the week began on Sunday.

Etymology

Just as any other day of the week, Tuesday has various names and meanings in different languages. The oldest meaning is connected with the Roman tradition of naming the days after planets or gods. The Romans believed that the god of war, Mars, was taking care of Tuesday. For this reason, in many languages with Latin roots the name of Tuesday can be translated as “the day of Mars”. An example can be a Spanish name “martes”, Italian “martedi”, or French “mardi”. Other tribes, however, such as the Nordic or Germanic people, used to have their own gods, so they changed the Roman god Mars into their own god - Týr, also known as Tiw, Ziu, or Tiwaz. This allowed them to change the name into English “Tuesday”, Swedish “tisdag”, or Norwegian “tirsdag”. The Slavic languages have adopted a quite different etymology – based on counting the seven days of the week starting with Monday, not Sunday. In most of these languages Tuesday means an old form of the Slavic word that can be translated into “second” - in Polish: “wtorek”, in Slovak: “utorok”, in Croatian and Bosnian: “utorak”, and in Russian or Bulgarian: “вторник, vtornik”. In the East Asian tradition, on the other hand, the name of Tuesday is not only connected with the planet Mars, but also with its symbolism – the element of fire. In Japanese (“火曜日, Kayōbi”) or Korean (“火曜日, Hwayoil”) Tuesday means “the day of fire”.

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Interesting facts

Tuesday in Modern Culture

Many of us treat Tuesday neutrally – it is already the second day of the work week, so we do not feel as tired and depressed as on Monday, but the weekend still appears to be out of reach. There are, however, some special Tuesdays in the modern culture. A good example can be Patch Tuesday, also known as Update Tuesday – usually the second Tuesday of each month when software patches are being released by the Microsoft company. Tuesday is also an important day for computer games industry, for in the United States most popular games have their premieres on Tuesday. The French name for Tuesday – mardi – can also bring to mind popular festivals called Mardi Gras. This is because Tuesday is in many countries, such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, or Brazil, the last day of the carnival, which also means the last moments of festivity and surfeit before the beginning of Lent. Rio de Janeiro is definitely the most recognizable place for the carnival, but other places also have their own traditions connected with the Carnival Tuesday. In Spain, for example, the day is known as “día de la tortilla” - the day of tortilla. On the Portuguese Madeira island people eat a lot of doughnuts on that day, and in the Great Britain or the United States the last Tuesday before Lent is called “Shrove Tuesday” or “Pancake Tuesday”. In the United States Tuesday is also associated with the election day – since the 19th century federal elections are held on Tuesday after the first Monday of November.

Historical Tuesdays

Some Tuesdays in the history of different countries were special and went down in the history. For example, April 13, 1204, was the final day of the siege and sack of Constantinople. For this reason, in the Greek world Tuesday – as the day of the god of war – especially when it falls on the thirteenth day of the month is considered to be an unlucky day. Another unlucky Tuesday in the history is now known as “Black Tuesday”, which refers to the Wall Street Crash of 1929. It was the Tuesday after “Black Thursday”. In Poland, however, there were more positive historical Tuesdays. In 1791 the Constitution of 3 May - the first advanced and prepared in writing constitution in Europe, and the second in the world - was adopted there. Now May 3 is in Poland an annual holiday. Another important Tuesday for Poland was November 5, 1985, when first successful heart transplantation took place. Tuesday was also the day of the week when Uranus was first discovered.

Did you know?

Contrary to Monday, Tuesday is considered to be the most productive day of the working week. What is more, although in some cultures Tuesday is perceived to be unlucky, in Judaism it is considered particularly lucky. This is because of the Bible – in the first chapter of the Genesis book the day now known as Tuesday has been described with the words “it was good” twice.