How to Determine Name of the Day in the Week

Mensanator mensanator at
Thu Sep 18 19:29:44 CEST 2008

On Sep 18, 12:01 am, Steven D'Aprano
<ste... at> wrote:
> On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 20:34:02 -0700, Mensanator wrote:
> > And technically, weeks begin on Sunday, not Monday, but business likes
> > to think of Monday as day 0 of the week and it doesn't conflict with any
> > prior date format.
> There's no "technically" about it.

Sure there is, within the tradition I was refering to.
Within that tradition, the start of the week isn't arbitray.

Besides, the documentation specifically says it's using
the European system

By default, these calendars have Monday as the first day
of the week, and Sunday as the last (the European convention).
Use setfirstweekday() to set the first day of the week to
Sunday (6) or to any other weekday.

So, by default, Python doesn't use the American convention
of weeks starting on Sunday (an American technicality).
This does not contradict what I said.

> It's an arbitrary starting point,

Amongst different systems, it's never arbitrary within a system.

> and
> consequently there are different traditions to it, even in English.

I know, that's why I added the caveat.

> Besides, I don't think many businesses think of "day 0" at all. Most
> people outside of IT start counting from 1, not 0.

The accounting software I use to fill out my timesheet
electronically was obviously created by IT people and
the week begins on Monday. Their will is, of course,
forced on all employees whether they are IT or not.

> In British Commonwealth countries, Sunday is the last day of the week,
> not the first, although under American influence that's changing in
> Australia at least.
> In Poland, the week begins with Monday ("poniedziałek"). Tuesday,
> "wtorek", means "second day". Other Slavic countries also start with
> Monday.
> Similarly, the Lithuanian calendar simple enumerates the days of the
> week, starting with Monday, "pirmadienis" ("first day").
> In China, there are at least three different systems of naming the week
> days. In two of them, the week starts with Sunday, but in the third
> system, Sunday is "zhoumo" ("cycle's end") and Monday is zhouyi ("first
> of cycle").

Last time I was in Borders, I don't recall seeing any
Polish, Lithuanian or Chinese calendars for sale.

> --
> Steven

More information about the Python-list mailing list