Days of the week

I’ve had many people contact me since I launched my Calendar plugin to wordpress.org asking if it is possible to change the day the week starts on from Monday to Sunday. Now obviously I’m aware that some people do start the week on Sunday, but I had never realised quite how many people this was until the use of my plugin became widespread and I must say I’m still really perplexed as to why.

The working week the whole world over is Monday through Friday, with Saturday and Sunday being affectionately known as the “week end”. This being the case, how can Sunday be the start of the week on a calendar when it is one of the days that constitutes the week end? Surely it is a contradiction in terms? Visibly this would make the week end split up at opposite sides of the calendar.

Due to demand I will be allowing users of the next version of my Calendar to change the day the week starts on but in the mean time I’d very much like comments on why some might start the week on a Sunday. Any financial, economic, religious etc. reasons with online references to further explanations would particularly helpful.

 

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16 Comments

  1. Liz Said,

    November 5, 2007 @ 6:02 pm

    I always start my calendar on a Sunday. Im not entirly sure why, Ive just always thought Sunday was the beginning of the week.

    Tho, I dont really have ‘weekends’ as such these days since I work alot of them, I have random days off in the week, so maybe thats why πŸ™‚

  2. Michelle Said,

    November 6, 2007 @ 2:18 am

    Isn’t it a cultural thing? Not that that really explains it, but I’m pretty sure it depends what country you live in. I think it is something to do with the fact that Jesus is said to have risen on a Sunday, and therefore this is when the week starts. I’m not sure though, that could just be the explination for why the sabbath moved…

  3. Chris Worfolk Said,

    November 6, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

    This makes interesting reading…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Week#Days_of_the_week

  4. James Withnell Said,

    November 24, 2007 @ 3:19 pm

    For a number of people, the working week “spills over” into the weekend; i suppose starting on a Sunday means that there’s a weekend-day buffer either end of the week!

  5. mr.e-man Said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 4:28 pm

    @ Kieran – I appreciate your take on the logic to starting a week on Monday. It seems like a very reasonable conclusion to me. However, I think that Michelle nailed it when she proposed that it’s cultural. Here in the US all of our printed calendars start with the week with Sunday. We snotty Americans just expect to see it that way. Ha! I appreciate your work to create some flexibility with this in the next release. Looking forward to it! Thanks for all of your hard work.

  6. Kieran Said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

    It has to be said that balance of opinion in the responses to this post have been that the week starts on a Sunday so it appears that perhaps, valid though my logic may be, I am outnumbered πŸ˜‰

    Still, as you say, support for this will be in the next release. Any day now I hope πŸ™‚

  7. Philip Silouan Thompson Said,

    March 2, 2008 @ 8:06 pm

    For what it’s worth, in several languages (Greek and Vietnamese that I know of offhand) the days have numbers instead of names. Monday in Greek is “Second”, Tuesday is “Third”, and so on. And of course most Romance languages call Saturday something like “Sabado,” from the Hebrew word for “Seventh” (hence our word “Sabbath.”) That’s why Jews and Seventh-Day Adventists worship on Saturday.

    Other than that, I love your calendar, and plan to implement it on my church website as soon as the day-of-week change is ready.

    Thanks for creating and maintaining this project!

  8. Kieran Said,

    March 2, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

    Interesting, thanks for the input πŸ™‚

  9. John Shirey Said,

    March 8, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

    It is cultural. I’m not sure about Roman or Greek origins, but Jesus did rise from the grave on Sunday, the first day of the week in the Jewish calendar. Since our culture exists solely because of this event (despite obvious pervasive ignorance of this fact in this community), it’s not entirely irrational that our calendars reflect this historic dating. If you doubt my “opinion” about our culture resting on this fact, I invite you to consider the book “Victory of Reason,” which is a concise history of Western Civilization. Pretty eye-opening.

    I offer another reason. I believe in most calendaring systems that have embedded day/date functions, Sunday is day(0).

  10. Michelle Said,

    March 9, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

    Could I suggest that the reason that most calendaring systems that have embedded day/date functions have Sunday as day(0) is because more software comes out of America then it does Britain. I know in my project at the moment (scheduling timetables) my timetables start at Monday whether you choose to schedule lectures for 5 or 7 days of the week, and I always think of Monday as the first day (and therefore day(0)).

  11. Kieran Said,

    March 9, 2008 @ 6:41 pm

    I think Michelle is right that this is a US/UK thing. I have my desktop set to UK. When I look at the pop up calendar in the right hand corner it has the week starting on Monday. If I switch my desktop to US it starts on a Sunday.

  12. gordon Said,

    April 21, 2008 @ 6:48 pm

    Kieran-

    Any idea when you might have the update ready that will allow us to change the start day of the week? Such a change would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Gordon

  13. Kieran Said,

    April 21, 2008 @ 10:46 pm

    Gordon, please see the following posts and associated comments:

    http://www.kieranoshea.com/2008/04/11/update-calendar/
    http://www.kieranoshea.com/2008/02/09/next-version-calendar/

  14. Yousif Said,

    February 20, 2011 @ 5:00 am

    Is it possible for the calendar plugin to start the week on Saturday. In Saudi Arabia, out week starts on Saturday. Thank you.

  15. Veronique Said,

    February 24, 2014 @ 2:54 am

    Though it did not bother me at first, I have to admit that as I am looking for one of my event, it changes the way my brains looks at it as on every sites and even old paper calendars, I have always seen the ones with sunday. I am afraid as an event organizer that some people might be misled by looking at an event and think it is on a saturday when indeed it is a sunday…

    But aside from that great calendar and easy to play with css for colors πŸ™‚
    (am no web designer and it is very user friendly)

  16. Kieran O'Shea Said,

    April 6, 2014 @ 11:21 am

    FYI calendar now obeys the WordPress setting regarding what day the week starts on. Set this according to your needs and Calendar plugin will change also

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