Friday (pronunciation ) is the day of the week falling between Thursday and Saturday. It is the sixth day in countries that adopt a Sunday-first convention. In ISO 8601, in work-based customs, and in countries adopting Monday-first conventions, it is the fifth day of the week. (See Days of the week for more on the different conventions.)
In most countries with a five-day work week, Friday is the last workday before the weekend and is, therefore, viewed as a cause for celebration or relief. In some offices, employees are allowed to wear less formal attire on Fridays, known as Casual Friday or Dress-Down Friday. In Saudi Arabia & Iran, however, Friday is the last day of the weekend and Saturday is the first workday. Moreover, in some countries, Friday is the first day of the weekend, and Sunday is the first workday. Friday is also used as a substitute for "drunk, or drinking". For example a "Friday" Party would be one that has alcohol. Or a person that "was friday'd" would be somebody that was drunk.
The name Friday comes from the Old English frigedæg, meaning the day of Frige the Anglo-Saxon form of Frigg, a West Germanic translation of Latin dies Veneris, "day (of the planet) Venus." However, in most Germanic languages the day is named after Freyja—such as Frīatag in Old High German, Freitag in Modern German, Freyjudagr in Old Norse, Vrijdag in Dutch, Fredag in Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish—but Freyja and Frigg are frequently identified with each other.
The word for Friday in most Romance languages is derived from Latin dies Veneris, "day (of the planet) Venus" (a translation of Greek Aphrodites hemera) such as vendredi in French, venerdì in Italian, viernes in Spanish, and vineri in Romanian. In most of the Indian languages, Friday is Shukravar (or a derived variation of Sukravar), named for Shukra, the Sanskrit name of the planet Venus. In other Indo-European languages the day is not related to the planet Venus. Russian uses an ordinal number for this day of the week-- piatnítsa, meaning "fifth." Similarly, the Portuguese is sexta-feira, the sixth day.
In some cultures, Friday is considered unlucky. This is particularly so in maritime circles; perhaps the most enduring sailing superstition is that it is unlucky to begin a voyage on a Friday. In the 19th century Admiral William Henry Smyth, writing in his nautical lexicon The Sailor's Word-Book, described Friday as
The Dies Infaustus, on which old seamen were desirous of not getting under weigh, as ill-omened.(Dies Infaustus means "unlucky day".) This superstition is the root of the well-known urban legend of .
However, this superstition is not universal, notably in Scottish Gaelic culture:
After the United States acquired Alaska from Russia in 1867, Friday October 6 was immediately followed by Friday October 18, adjusting to the adoption of the 1582 Gregorian calendar changes by the British colonies in 1752, and the shifting of the International Date Line. Prior to that change, Alaska began Russia's day, with the date line following the partially-defined border between Russian Alaska and British North America, including the colony of British Columbia.
Traditionally, Roman Catholics were obliged to refrain from eating the meat of land animals on Fridays, although fish was allowed. However, episcopal conferences are now authorized to allow some other form of penance to replace abstinence from meat. Many still choose the traditional form of Friday penance.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law states:
Some Anglo-Catholics also practice abstinence either on all Fridays or on Fridays in Lent. More generally, traditional Anglican Prayer Books prescribe weekly Friday abstinence for all Anglicans.
The Eastern Orthodox Church continues to observe Fridays (as well as Wednesdays) as fast days throughout the year (with the exception of several fast-free periods during the year. Fasting on Fridays entails abstinence from meat or meat products (i.e., four-footed animals), poultry and dairy products. Unless a feast day occurs on a Friday, the Orthodox also abstain from using oil in their cooking and from alcoholic beverages (there is some debate over whether abstention from oil involves all cooking oil or only olive oil). For the Orthodox, Fridays throughout the year commemorate the Crucifixion of Christ and the Theotokos (Mother of God), especially as she stood by the foot of the cross. There are hymns in the Octoekhos which reflect this liturgically. These include Theotokia (hymns to the Mother of God) which are chanted on Wednesdays and Fridays called Stavrotheotokia ("Cross-Theotokia"). The dismissal at the end of services on Fridays begin with the words: "May Christ our true God, through the power of the precious and life-giving cross...."
In Islam, Friday is the day of public worship in mosques (see Jumu'ah). In some Islamic countries, the week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday, just like the Jewish and Christian week. In most other Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran & Iraq, the week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday. Friday is also the day of rest in the Bahá'í Faith.
Parasceve seems to have been applied also to the eve of certain festival days of a sabbatic character. Foremost among these was the first day of the unleavened bread, Nisan 15. We learn from the Mishna (Pesach., iv, 1, 5) that the Parasceve of the Pasch, on whatever day of the week it fell, was kept even more religiously than the ordinary Friday, in Judaea work ceasing at noon, and in Galilee the whole day being free. In the schools the only question discussed regarding this particular Parasceve was, when should the rest commence: Shammai said from the very beginning of the day (evening of Nisan 13); Hillel said only from after sunrise (morning of Nisan 14).
The use of the word Parasceve in the Gospels raises the question concerning the actual day of Christ's crucifixion. All the Evangelists state that Jesus died on the day of the Parasceve (Matthew 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14, 31), and there can be no doubt from Luke 23:54-56 and John 19:31, that this was Friday, but on what day of the month of Nisan did that particular Friday fall? Saint John distinctly points to Nisan 14, while the Synoptics, by implying that the Last Supper was the Paschal meal, convey the impression that Jesus was crucified on Nisan 15. But this is hardly reconcilable with the following facts: after the Supper, he and his disciples left the city, as also did the men detailed to arrest him–this, on Nisan 15, would have been contrary to Exodus 12:22; the next morning the Jews had not yet eaten the Passover; moreover, during that day the Council convened; Simon was apparently coming from work (Luke 23:26); Jesus and the two robbers were executed and were taken down from the crosses; Joseph of Arimathea bought fine linen (Mark 15:46), and Nicodemus brought "a mixture of myrrh and aloes about an hundred pound weight" (John 19:39) for the burial; lastly the women prepared spices for the embalming of the Saviour's body (Luke 23:55)–all things which would have been a desecration on Nisan 15. Most commentators, whether they think the Last Supper to have been the Paschal meal or an anticipation thereof, hold that Christ, as Saint John states, was crucified on the Parasceve of the Pasch, Friday, Nisan 14.