Date, time and oddities

I always think of this filling out forms on foreign websites.

Why Sunday is the first day of the week? (or why it's the last in Russia)
And what is the problem with setting some international data format? Some forms like to use 2014-11-22 way and some, including Russian ones, like 22.11.2014.

Oh, these checkboxes and other things you go through to buy a ticket for the airplane or to obtain a new visa.

We'll dwell on the first part today.

My guess was that Russians like to do all the work first and then rest without worries, therefore Sunday goes in the end of the week. Let's read some formal explanations.

Sunday was traditionally regarded as the first day of the week by both Christians and Jews. Following Jewish tradition, the Bible is quite explicit that God rested on the seventh day of Creation, which formed the basis for the Sabbath, the day of rest.

When saints Cyril and Methodius brought Christianity to the Slavs, they took on the Greek tradition of numbering the days, but they numbered them from Monday instead of Sunday.

Thus, Slavic languages treat Monday as the first day, Tuesday as the second, etc. Saturday and Sunday are the only days that are named rather than numbered. Saturday is the Sabbath and Sunday in Russian is the word for "Resurrection".

In more modern times, industrial society has done much to destroy the traditional concept of Sunday as the first day. According to Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1983), the term 'weekend', first recorded in 1878, refers to 'the period between the close of one working or business or school week and the beginning of the next'. This concept firmly places Sunday at the end of the week.

Possibly because of this, the International Standards Organisation has decided that Monday is to be regarded as the first day of the week. Calendars in many European countries, in particular, now follow the ISO decision by starting the week on Monday. Airline timetables also number the days from Monday as 1, Tuesday as 2, Wednesday as 3, etc.

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