Days of week/Dias da semana


The days of the week in English are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Completely normal, but did you know that the days of the week in Portuguese also have numbers and the word feira? Yes, the weekdays in Portuguese have numbers and also feira. What we call Dias úteis. Sábado and Domingo are fim-de-semana.


The days of week in Portuguese are Domingo, Segunda-feira, Terça-feira, Quarta-feira, Quinta-feira, Sexta-feira and Sábado.  Numerically, Domingo can be considered the first day of the week, so segunda is second feira, Terça is third feira, Quarta is fourth feira, Quinta is fifth feira, Sexta is sixth feira, and Sábado can be the seventh day. In normal terms, we just use the numerals in the weekdays, so Sábado and Domingo do not have a number.


History of the days of week in Portuguese


Weekdays got their names in Portuguese due to the Catholic liturgy at the initiative of Martinho de Dume. He named the weekdays of the Easter holiday, during which no one should work, based on the liturgical names.


Latim I

Latim II


Latim litúrgico I

Latim litúrgico II

dies solis

solis dies

dia do Sol

prima feria

feria prima

dies lunae

lunae dies

dia da Lua

secunda feria

feria secunda

dies martis

martis dies

dia de Marte

tertia feria

feria tertia

dies mercurii

mercurii dies

dia de Mercúrio

quarta feria

feria quarta

dies iovis

iovis dies

dia de Júpiter

quinta feria

feria quinta

dies veneris

veneris dies

dia de Vênus

sexta feria

feria sexta

dies saturni

saturni dies

dia de Saturno

septima feria

feria septima


Sabbatum originated directly from the Hebrew Shabbat devotional, at a time when the Hebrews were originally one people and one culture. The day was the Sabbath, day of rest of the Israelites. For that reason, they flocked to the synagogue more often. This day is Saturday (sábado), the last day of their weekly schedule, this being the day of rest for the Jews.


The apostolic tradition fixed the day of rest for Christians on Sunday (domingo) in honor of the resurrection of Christ. In 325 AD, the guidelines adopted at the First Council of Nicaea confirmed the apostolic tradition, and during the reformation of the Roman calendar headed by Constantine the Great, it replaced the name Solis Dies, which means Day of the Sun. This had been how the pagans referred to Sunday (domingo).  It was replaced by Dies Dominicus (or Dominicum Dies, Dies Dominica, Dies Domini).  In Portuguese, this means the day of the Lord, which evolved into Sunday (domingo).


The day of Sunday, also known as Prima Feria, was the day that Christians met to worship the memory of Christ's Resurrection, the day of rest for Christians.


Portuguese is the only European language in which the days of the week are not associated with the stars, although they were before Martinho de Dume modified them.


The first day of the week is given today as a result of the union of two concepts, the main weekly meeting of faith in different religions and beliefs, and the concept of creating a world that is common to almost all of them.


For early Christians, Sunday was the first day of the week, but also the spiritual eighth day (8º dia), symbolizing the world created after the resurrection of Jesus. The concept of the eighth day, the Lord's day, was merely symbolic and had no effect on the seven day week in terms of the calendar.


Scientific representation of the weekdays


1 (um)


2 (dois)


3 (três)


4 (quatro)


5 (cinco)


6 (seis)


7 (sete)


Why do we have feira in the days of week?


The word feira comes from the word feria, which in Latin means “day of rest”. The term came to be used in the year 563 AD, after a council of the Catholic Church in Braga, a Portuguese city. The explanation for the presence of the term only in Portuguese is that Bishop Martinho de Braga decided that the names of the days of the week which were used at that time, in honor of the pagan gods, should change.


Now you may ask, if feira means a day of rest, why do we use feira in the days of the week and not in the weekend? The explanation is that originally, the order of the bishop was valid only for the days of Holy Week (the one that precedes Easter Sunday), when every good Christian should rest. Afterwards, it was eventually adopted for the entire year, but only by the Portuguese. The only exceptions made by our mustachioed brethren, and then incorporated into the Portuguese colonies, were Saturday (sábado) and Sunday (domingo).





Since 321 AD, Western calendars have started the week with Sunday. The rule was imposed that year by the Roman emperor Constantine who, moreover, established definitively that the week would have seven days. The order was not random. Though at the time the Romans adopted weeks of eight days, the Bible said that God created the Earth in six days and rested on the seventh and, by all indications, the Babylonians also divided the year into sets of seven days.


Months of year/Meses do ano


Names and history of the months


  • Janeiro: The name comes from the Roman god Janus who had two faces and who was a "heavenly porter". The word ianua means door, and the month of January precisely represents the entrance, or beginning, of the year.
  • Fevereiro: The term comes from the word februm, which means to purify. Historically, a Roman ritual of purification happened during this month.
  • Março: The name comes from the god of war, Mars. The spring begins in this month in the northern hemisphere, which historically was a great time to launch military campaigns.
  • Abril: There are two accepted versions for this month. One is that the name of the month comes from aperire, which means opening, remembering that flowers blossom in the spring. The other is that the name comes from aprilis, a celebration of the goddess Venus.
  • Maio: It was a tribute to two goddesses, Maia and Flora, which were believed to be responsible for the growth of spring and flowers.
  • Junho: It was a tribute to the goddess Juno who was the protector of family and birth. It can also be derived from the Roman clan junius.
  • Julho: In the original Roman calendar, this month had the name quintilius because it was the fifth month. Centuries later, it was renamed in honor of the Emperor Julius Caesar, who had been assassinated.
  • Agosto: In the first Roman calendar, it was called sextilis because it was the sixth month. It was also renamed in honor of the Emperor Augustus.
  • Setembro to Dezembro: September comes from the word septem, which means seven; October comes from octo, which means eight, and so on. Today, the month retains the same position as it did in the Roman calendar.



Note: All of the months have more than one, so I choose the most popular and/or the proverbs I like most.



  • “Em Janerio, um porco ao sol, outro no fumeiro”.
  • “Fevereiro quente traz o diabo no ventre”.
  • “Março. marçagão, de manhã Inverno, de tarde Verão”.
  • “Abril águas mil”.
  • “Maio frio, Junho quente, bom pão e vinho valente”.
  • “Junho calmoso, ano famoso”.
  • “Em Julho abafadiço, fica a abelha no cortiço”.
  • “Lá vem o Agosto com os seus santos ao pescoço”.  
  • “Em Agosto secam os montes e em Setembro as fontes”.
  • “Setembro molhado, figo estragado”.
  • “Em Setembro ou secam as fontes ou alargam açudes e pontes”.
  • “Quando o Outubro for ervilheiro, guarda  para Março o palheiro”.
  • “Novembro à porta, geada na horta”.
  • “Depois que o menino nasceu tudo cresceu”.
  • “Ande o frio por onde andar pelo Natal cá vem parar”.



Image Sources


Hero image by Andreanna Moya (CC BY 2.0)