Thursday is the day of the week between Wednesday and Friday.
According to the ISO 8601 international standard, it is the fourth day of the week. However, in the US, Canada, and Japan, it’s counted as the fifth day of the week.
In many languages, the names given to the seven days of the week are derived from the names of the classical planets in Hellenistic astronomy, which were in turn named after contemporary deities, a system introduced by the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity.
The eanglish names of the day of the week were coined in the Roman era, in Greek and Latin.
In Latin, the day was known as Iovis Dies, “Jupiter’s Day”.
Since the Roman god Jupiter was identified with Thunor (Norse Thor), most Germanic languages name the day after this god: Torsdag in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, Hósdagur/Tórsdagur in Faroese, Donnerstag in German or Donderdag in Dutch. Finnish and Northern Sami, both non-Germanic (Uralic) languages, uses the borrowing “Torstai” and “Duorastat”. In the extinct Polabian Slavic language, it was perundan, Perun being the Slavic equivalent of Thor.
The name “Thursday” is derived from Old English þunresdæg and Middle English Thuresday meaning “Thor’s Day”. It was named after the Norse god of Thunder, Thor.
In Germanic mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with lightning, thunder, storms, sacred groves and trees, strength, the protection of mankind, hallowing, and fertility.
Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, to the Germanic expansions of the Migration Period, to his high popularity during the Viking Age, when, in the face of the process of the Christianization of Scandinavia, emblems of his hammer, Mjölnir, were worn and Norse pagan personal names containing the name of the god bear witness to his popularity.
In most Romance languages, the day is named after the Roman god Jupiter, who was the god of sky and thunder. In Latin, the genitive or possessive case of Jupiter was Iovis/Jovis and thus in most Romance languages it became the word for Thursday: Italian giovedì, Spanish jueves, French jeudi, Sardinian jòvia, Catalan dijous, Galician xoves and Romanian joi. This is also reflected in the p-Celtic Welsh dydd Iau.
In Slavic languages and in Chinese, this day’s name is “fourth” – Slovak štvrtok, Czech čtvrtek, Slovene četrtek, Croatian and Bosnian četvrtak, Polish czwartek, Russian chetverg, Bulgarian четвъртък, Serbian четвртак, Macedonian четврток, Ukrainian chetver. Hungarian uses a Slavic loanword “csütörtök”. In Chinese, it is 星期四 – xīngqīsì (“fourth solar day”)
In most of the languages of India, the word for Thursday is Guruvāra – vāra meaning day and Guru being the style for Bṛhaspati, guru to the gods and regent of the planet Jupiter. This day marks the worship of Lord Vishnu/Lord Buddha and Lord Dattatreya in Hinduism.
Greek uses a number for this day: Πέμπτη Pémpti “fifth,” as does Portuguese: quinta-feira “fifth day,” Hebrew: יום חמישי – Yom Khamishi – day fifth, often written ‘יום ה – “Yom Hey” – 5th letter Hey day , and Arabic: يوم الخميس – “Yaum al-Khamīs” – fifth day. Rooted from Arabic, Indonesian word for Thursday is “Kamis”, similarly “Khamis” in Malaysian and “Kemis” in Javanese.
The astrological and astronomical sign of the planet Jupiter ♃ is sometimes used to represent Thursday.
In the Christian tradition, Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter — the day on which the Last Supper occurred. Also known as Sheer Thursday in the United Kingdom, it is traditionally a day of cleaning and giving out Maundy money there. Holy Thursday is part of Holy Week.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church. Thursdays are dedicated to the Apostles and Saint Nicholas. The Octoechos contains hymns on these themes, arranged in an eight-week cycle, that are chanted on Thursdays throughout the year. At the end of Divine Services on Thursday, the dismissal begins with the words: “May Christ our True God, through the intercessions of his most-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostles, of our Father among the saints Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, the Wonder-worker…”
Ascension Thursday is 40 days after Easter, when Christ ascended into Heaven.
In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is an annual festival celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. The dinner traditionally consists of foods and dishes indigenous to the Americas, namely turkey, potatoes (usually mashed), stuffing, squash, corn (maize), green beans, cranberries (typically in sauce form), and pumpkin pie.
In the United Kingdom, all general elections have been held on a Thursday since 1935, and this has become a tradition, although not a requirement of the law. The Thursday before Easter is also known as Maundy Thursday or Sheer Thursday in the United Kingdom, which is traditionally a day of cleaning and giving out Maundy money.
In Australia, most cinema movies premieres are held on Thursdays. Also, most Australians are paid on a Thursday, either weekly or fortnightly. Shopping malls see this as an opportunity to open longer than usual, generally until 9 pm, as most pay cheques are cleared by Thursday morning.
In Norway, Thursday has also traditionally been the day when most shops and malls are open later than on the other weekdays, although the majority of shopping malls now are open until 8 pm or 9 pm every weekday.
On October 24, 1929, as nervous investors began selling overpriced shares en masse, the stock market crash that some had feared happened at last. A record 12.9 million shares were traded that day, known as “Black Thursday.” The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world, lasting from the stock market crash of 1929 to 1939.