Fridays hold a special place in our hearts. As the gateway to the weekend, they represent freedom, fun, and the chance to unwind after a long work week. But Fridays are so much more than just the preamble to Saturday and Sunday. They have a rich history and culture all their own.
In this article, we’ll explore 50 fascinating and funny facts about friday everyone’s favourite weekday. From the origins of “TGIF” to strange Fridays throughout history, you’ll learn new things about this special day of the week. So kick back, relax, and get ready for some Friday fun facts!
The History and Origins of Fridays
- The name Friday comes from the Old English word “Frīgedæg” meaning the day of Frige, a Germanic goddess associated with love and beauty. This is akin to the Roman goddess Venus.
- In most Germanic languages, Friday is named after the Norse god Frigg, or Freya, the equivalent goddess of love and beauty in Norse Mythology. Examples include modern German “Freitag” and Dutch “Vrijdag”.
- In Romance languages like Spanish (“Viernes”) and Italian (“Venerdì”), Friday is named after the Roman goddess Venus. This reflects the importance of Venus in Roman culture.
- In Slavic languages, Friday is named after the goddess Lada, goddess of beauty and love. For example, the modern Polish “Piątek” originates from the Old Polish “piątnica” meaning “Lada’s day”.
- In India, Friday is dedicated to goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and beauty. Friday is called “Shukrawar” in Hindi after Shukra, the Sanskrit name for the planet Venus.
- In most Islamic countries, Friday replaces Sunday as the day of rest and worship. Friday prayers are one of the most important religious observances for Muslims.
Friday Traditions, Customs, and Superstitions
- In the United States, “Casual Friday” originated in Hawaii during the 1960s, allowing employees to wear more casual clothes to work on Fridays.
- “TGIF” is a popular acronym standing for “Thank God It’s Friday!” First used in the 1950s, it reflects the celebration of the impending weekend.
- Eating fish on Fridays was once a strict requirement for Roman Catholics, especially during Lent. The tradition originated in the early church to honor the sacrifice of Christ.
- Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest shopping days of the year in the United States, kicking off the holiday spending season.
- In parts of the United Kingdom, fast food like fish and chips is a popular Friday night tradition dating back to the Roman Catholic practice of eating fish on Fridays.
- Many Greeks avoid getting married or making major purchases on Fridays, considering them bad luck. It is thought that Tuesday weddings will be more long-lasting.
- In Italy, Friday the 17th is considered an unlucky day. The Roman numeral for 17, XVII, can be rearranged to spell the latin word VIXI, meaning “my life is over.”
- Friday the 13th is considered the unluckiest day in Western superstition, thought to bring misfortune and sorrow. The fear of Friday the 13th is known as friggatriskaidekaphobia.
Notable Historic Fridays
- Black Friday in 1869 was September 24, when a failed plot to corner the gold market resulted in a major financial crisis and stock market crash.
- On Good Friday, April 15th 1912, the RMS Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg, resulting in over 1500 deaths. Other shipwrecks like the RMS Lusitania and MS Estonia also occurred on Fridays.
- Friday, November 22nd 1963 was the date President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while traveling by motorcade in Dallas, Texas.
- Friday October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday, marked the beginning of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, kicking off the Great Depression. Stock markets fell dramatically due to panic selling.
- The United States Supreme Court’s famous pro-abortion rights ruling in Roe v. Wade was handed down on Friday, January 22nd, 1973.
- Friday, August 31, 1997 was the day Princess Diana of Wales died from injuries in a car crash while being pursued by paparazzi in Paris, France.
Friday Facts in Arts and Media
- The popular cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man famously ate spinach to get “strong to the finich, ’cause I eats me spinach on Wednesdays and Fridays!”
- Fashion icon Coco Chanel made the wearing of the “little black dress” popular in the 1920s. She declared Friday the only appropriate day to wear black.
- The 1980 hit comedy film “Friday the 13th” helped kick off the “slasher” horror movie genre. The masked villain Jason Voorhees slaughtered camp counselors attempting to reopen Camp Crystal Lake.
- Rock band The Cure released their best-selling album Disintegration in 1989. One of its most famous songs is titled simply “Friday I’m In Love” as an homage to the carefree feeling of Fridays.
- On the popular ABC sitcom Full House, the Tanner family always had their weekly family meetings around the dining table on Fridays.
- Carly Simon’s song “Anticipation”, used in a famous Heinz Ketchup ad, contains lyrics noting how by Thursday night she’s “just about to explode” anticipating Friday.
- Robert Heinlein’s classic sci-fi novel Friday centers on the adventures of the Artificial Person Friday. Her name was chosen based on the Robinson Crusoe character Man Friday.
Some Unusual Friday Facts
- In 1307, on Friday October 13, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrests and executions of the Knights Templar, seizing their assets.
- Microsoft Windows 95 was released to the public on Thursday at midnight between August 24 and 25, 1995, but the advertising focused on the following Friday launch day.
- Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is the title of the 2019 movie focusing on serial killer Ted Bundy. It references a quote from the judge who sentenced Bundy to death on January 24, 1989 – a Friday.
- Friday February 29, 1504 was unusual in that it was real and not a leap day. February 29 only occurs on leap years, but a calendar error caused it to occur on that Friday over 500 years ago.
- Friday the 13th occurs at minimum once per year, but can appear up to 3 times per year. 2017 had the maximum possible occurrences with January 13, October 13, and the very rare Friday October 13.
- In April of 1990 in the UK, an unfortunate Friday the 13th computer glitch resulted in thousands of incorrect Nottingham tax bills being sent out in error. The bills totaled more than 23 billion British pounds!
- The world’s longest ever chess tournament, the “Kasparov vs. The World” match, concluded on Friday, October 22, 1999 after running for more than four months. Chess champion Garry Kasparov beat the “World Team” of thousands of online players.
- Stephen Colbert’s impromptu Friday dance parties became a fan favorite segment on his former Comedy Central show. He would dance ecstatically to random songs picked by his producers.
- Friday November 26, 1976 became known as “Evacuation Day” in Eugene, Oregon. Leaking railroad cars filled with poisonous herbicides forced the evacuation of 40,000 residents on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
- The globally coordinated Friday climate strike protests organized by Greta Thunberg mobilized millions of student activists starting in 2018 to demand action on climate change.
Fridays Around the World
- In Iran, Friday is a weekly holiday marking the day of public prayer, with many businesses closed from noon to 2pm. Some government offices and many shops are closed entirely on Fridays.
- Brunch on Fridays is a cherished tradition in Australia and New Zealand. Friends and colleagues gather at restaurants and cafes mid-morning to socialize and celebrate the end of the work week.
- Dubbed Viernes de Chicaras, Friday is by tradition pub crawl night for young people in Costa Rica hitting the bars at night and clubs into the early morning.
- Iceland’s cool Friday tradition of Bolludagur involves eating cream puff pastries called Bambas. The treats commemorate the pagan tradition of sacrificing cows on the first Friday of Þorri, the Icelandic month.
- Friday couscous is the customary lunchtime meal enjoyed in Morocco’s mosques, embassies, companies, and many homes after the big public Friday prayers at midday.
- Compleanno delle Generali or General’s Birthday on the second Friday of November is a festive Tuscan holiday with singing, dancing and feasts in Chiusdino to celebrate town general saint Saint Martin.
- Vappu in Finland is a huge Friday carnival celebrating the arrival of spring. Major events happen on Friday April 30th or Saturday May 1st involving parades, dancing, sparkling wine, and crowning the statue of the Havis Amanda with a cap.
- The Philippines celebrates Friday as Youth Day or Linggo ng Kabataan. Communities organize programs honoring young people, and businesses often offer discounts on products and services.
- Flower garlands and leis are commonly sold by street vendors and worn by people in India on Fridays as a celebration of the favorite day of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity.
- In Singapore and Malaysia, Friday night at hawker centers sees bustling crowds eating at outdoor food stalls to celebrate Jumat, the day of congregation for Muslims.
- Friday night football games are a major event in many regions of America. Whole communities will come out to attend high school football games and support local teams.
- In Israel, parks and beaches tend to be major hangout destinations on Fridays, with people enjoying barbecues, long meals, and walks to celebrate the Sabbath, starting Friday at sunset.
- T.G.I.F. may have originated in America, but it encapsulates the global feeling of joy and relief that comes with the arrival of Friday and its promise of freedom from work and responsibilities. Friday really is everyone’s favorite day of the week!
So there you have it – 50 fascinating and Funny facts about Friday. From religious significance to weekend excitement, there are so many reasons we love this special day of the week. Whether you celebrate its arrival like Carly Simon or spend it eating fish and chips, embrace that wonderful Friday feeling!