Thursday is the fourth day of the week in most western countries and the fourth day of the week in the Judeo-Christian calendar, falling between Wednesday and Friday. In countries that adopt the Sunday-first convention, it is considered the fifth day of the week. However, in ISO 8601 it is the fourth day of the week.
See Days of the week for more on naming conventions.
The contemporary name comes from the Old English Þunresdæg (with loss of -n-, first in northern dialects, from influence of Old Norse Þorsdagr), meaning "Day of Thunor", this being a rough Germanic equivalent to the Latin Iovis Dies, "Jupiter's Day". Most Germanic and Romance-speaking countries use their languages' equivalents: German Donnerstag, Dutch donderdag, torsdag in Scandinavia, Italian giovedì, Spanish jueves, French jeudi, Catalan dijous, and Romanian joi.
In Latin the Genitive or possessive case of Jupiter was Jovis and as such in most Romance languages with the exception of Portuguese it became the word for Thursday: Latin Jovis Dies, Spanish Jueves, Italian Giovedi, and Romanian Joi.
In most of the Indian Languages the word for Thursday is Guruvar, with Guru being the Sanskrit name for the planet Jupiter. In Slavic languages and in Chinese, this day's name is "fourth" (Polish czwartek, Russian четверг, pronounced CHET-vierg). Greek uses a number for this day: Πέμπτη, Pémpti, "Fifth," and Portuguese, too, uses a number for this day: quinta-feira, "fifth day", (see days of the week for more on the different conventions).
The Urdu name for Thursday is Jumeraate (eve of Friday).
The Arabic for Thursday is Khamees (fifth day);Because the arabic week starts from Saturday.
In Judaism the Torah is read in public on Thursday mornings, and special penitential prayers are said on Thursday, unless there is a special occasion for happiness which cancels them.
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…"
Quakers traditionally refer to Thursday as "Fifth Day" eschewing the pagan origin of the English name "Thursday". The name of the day is also called by words meaning "fifth day" in Icelandic, Modern Greek, Portuguese, and modern Semitic languages.
In Thailand, the color associated with Thursday is orange, see Thai solar calendar.
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the character Arthur Dent says "This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays". A few minutes later the planet Earth is destroyed. Thor, for whom the day was named, also appears later in the Hitchhiker's series and in other Adams books. Appropriately, in The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul, one of the characters says to Thor: "I'm not used to spending the evening with someone who's got a whole day named after them".
In the cross media work Thursday's fictions by Richard James Allen and Karen Pearlman, Thursday is the title character, a woman who tries to cheat the cycle of reincarnation to get a form of eternal life. Thursday's Fictions which has been a stage production, a book, a film and an 3D online immersive world in Second Life.
In Neil Gaiman's American Gods, when Wednesday introduces himself, he remarks that given the weather (he and the main character are flying in a thunderstorm), it could be Thursday, as Thor was the god of thunder.
"Thursday Next" is the central character in a series of novels by Jasper Fforde.
In Garth Nix's popular Keys to the Kingdom series, Thursday is an antagonist who is a personification of the actual day.
"Thursday" is the name of an Italian neo realistic film of the 60s.
"Thursday's Child" is a song by The Chameleons in Script of the Bridge (1983).
In the Placebo song "Evil Dildo", the obscene telephone message is left on Thursday the 23rd of an unknown month and year. The day Thursday 23rd is often celebrated as Evil Dildo day by Placebo fans.
In college life is referred to as the new Friday because of drinking and parties.
Many office workers in the US observe "Red Shirt Thursdays" co-workers wear red as a sign of unity and patriotism.
Additionally, local elections are usually held on the first Thursday in May.
The Thursday before Easter is also known as Maundy Thursday or Sheer Thursday in the United Kingdom, traditionally a day of cleaning and giving out Maundy money. The Electoral Administration Act 2006 removed Maundy Thursday as an excluded day on the electoral timetable - therefore an election can now be held on Maundy Thursday.
The astrological and astronomical sign of the planet Jupiter represents Thursday with similar names in Latin-derived languages, such as the French Jeudi, Italian Giovedì and Spanish Jueves. In English, this became "Thor's Day," since the Roman god Jupiter was identified with Thor in northern Europe.