Week Day Symbols

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Images of the symbols are forthcoming. In the mean time, click on the links at the bottom of the article to see illustrations of the symbols.

Today, there are eight names for the days of the week in standard German, Sonntag, Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, and Samstag or Sonnabend. Dialects have other names, but we will not concern ourselves with those names. However, in old records, scribes often used symbols to indicate the days of the week instead of writing the entire name. These symbols are not abbreviations and each has other uses, such as representing metals and planets (hence, their association with the days of the week). The symbols, which in this case are taken from Bavaria around 1715, are:

Sonntag Sun
This is simply a circle with a dot in the middle and represents the sun.
Montag Moon
The crescent obviously represents the moon.
Dienstag Mars
This symbol represents the Roman god of war, Mars/Germanic Tiw, and is also the symbol for ‘male.’
Mittwoch Mercury
This rather interesting looking symbol represents Roman Mercury/Germanic Wodin. It looks like the symbol for Friday with horns on the top.
Donnerstag Jupiter
The symbol for Thursday stands for Roman Jupiter/Germanic Thor
Freitag Venus
This symbol, a cross with a circle on top represents Roman Venus/Germanic Frigg and is the also the symbol for ‘female.’
Samstag Saturn
This symbol represents the Roman god Saturn.

So, you might read Sun d 29ten Oktober, which means ‘Sonntag, den 29. Oktober.’

Click here for a detailed explanation with illustrations and here for computer-generated illustrations of these weekday symbols or here for the origin of the names of the week days.