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Welcome to Exquizite Quizine, a quizzing blog, whose weird set of questions and irregularity of updation are but a reflection of similar qualities in it's creator. Welcome to this blog an good luck in answering the questions which feature here, and you're welcome to post answers as comments. Just make sure that if you're answering questions then encrypt them in any ingenious fashion which ensures that others don't end up accidentally reading them. One suggestion is ROT13[W]

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

[*] Why Seven?

Before, I present the sixth set for your empuzzlement, let me share some useless trivia (I realize that the qualifier useless is redundant) and a request for info. Does anyone have any idea as to what is the reason for the universality of the 7-day day week? Ie. not only do we have a 7-day week in most cultures around the world, but also, each day is always associated with the same planet(at least the Hindi, Tamil names of Days agree with the English ones).
Is there some unique astronomical funda? One possible explanation could be that that all these derive from the same source, and there is no fundamental reason for it to be so. I mean the Tamil days could easily have, been a borrowing from the Sanskritic Aryans, and not an inherent Dravidian scheme (I personally have no clue about this) and given the commonalities in Hindu and Graeco Roman mythology, it would not be totally implausible for a link there. However, as I said, I have no hard facts on this either way. Anyone got answers? [BTW, some of these links ( 1 2 ) give some explanations but still far from satisfactory]
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3 Comments:

Anonymous Sumeet said...

Reagrding the planets:days-of-week relation, it doesn't actually hold for the English days of the week, except for Saturday, Sunday and Monday (all of which match up with the Hindi names, while Sunday and Monday even match with the Japanese ones). The other days are named after Norse gods (Tyr, Wodin, Thor and Freya are their names, I think).
From an astronomical perspective, I think the number 7 comes from being roughly half of a fortnight, i.e. a week is about a quarter of the moon's cycle. Of course, it would still be too much of a coincidence for the day names to match up the way they do across cultures; there is clearly a common origin involved as well. You're right; it really is a pretty intriguing puzzle.

13:08  
Blogger Shanth said...

>The other days are named after Norse gods
>(Tyr, Wodin, Thor and Freya are their names,
>I think

True, but the Romance languages, eg. French where the days are Mardi, Mecredi, Jeundi, Vendredi; the same as all the Indian calendars. Anyway, let me know if you dig up something else.

13:24  
Anonymous Sumeet said...

Interestingly, I just found out that all the Japanese days of the week are, in fact, named after the planets, and they correspond exactly to the days of the week in Hindi. The thing is, the Japanese have named the planets after the 'elements', so one can also view the days as being named after them. For example, Tuesday is
"ka youbi", while Mars is "kasei" (which literally means "fire star"). Similarly for the other days; this page lays it out nicely.
I guess it's pretty clear that the day names in all of these languages have a common source; I wonder what that source is though?

09:29  

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