Modern Days of the Week in Sindarin and Quenya

There is much confusion over which Sindarin days of the week correspond to our modern days of the week. Most websites and dictionaries you go to for reference, do not give this information accurately. In this short article, I will show you how to figure this out, and show you what the true corresponding days are of the week are for Sindarin and Quenya, in as simple a way as possible !!

The lines quoted here are taken from the ROTK appendix:

• • The Hobbit week was taken from the Dúnedain, and the names were translations of those given to the days in the old North-kingdom, which in their turn were derived from the Eldar. The six-day week of the Eldar had days dedicated to, or named after, the Stars, the Sun, the Moon, the Two Trees, the Heavens, and the Valar, or Powers, in that order, the last day being the chief day of the week. Their names in Quenya were Elenya, Anarya, Isilya, Aldúya, Menelya, Valanya (or Tárion), the Sindarin names were: Orgilion, Oranor, Orithil, Orgaladhad, Ormenel, Orbelain (or Rodyn).

• • The Númenoreans retained the dedications and order, but ….. desiring a seventh day, and being great mariners, *they inserted a ‘Sea-day’, Eärenya (Oraearon), after the Heavens’ Day.

• • The Hobbits took over this arrangement …

Now on with an explanation ….

Below is a list of the days of the week …. each Eldar weekday (Oraearon also added) in Sindarin and Quenya, shown with it’s equal in archaic Hobbitish form (listed in the Red Book annals), and also with it’s Hobbitish form at the time of the War of the Ring:
Orgilion (Elenya) >> Sterrendei…..Sterday
Oranor (Anarya) >> Sunnenndei ….. Sunday
Orithil (Isilya) >> Monendei …… Monday
Orgaladhad (Aldúya) >> Trewesdei ….. Trewsday
Ormenel (Menelya) >> Hevensdei …… Hevensday (or Hensday)
Oraearon (Eärenya) >> Meresdei ….. Mersday
Orbelain (Valanya or Tárion) chief day >> Highdei ….. Highday

Another line quoted from ROTK appendix:

• • I have translated these names also into our own names, naturally beginning with Sunday and Monday, which occur in the Shire week with the same names as ours, and renaming the others in order.

Hence the Hobbit days translated would be:
Sterrendei ….. Sterday …. Shire Saturday
Sunnenndei ….. Sunday …. Shire Sunday
Monendei …… Monday …. Shire Monday
Trewesdei ….. Trewsday …. Shire Tuesday
Hevensdei …… Hevensday (or Hensday) …. Shire Wednesday
Meresdei ….. Mersday …. Shire Thursday
Highdei ….. Highday …. Shire Friday (chief day)

Another line quoted from ROTK appendix directly after the line above:

• • It must be noted, however, that the associations of the names were quite different in the Shire. The last day of the week, Friday (Highday), was the chief day and one of holiday (after noon) and evening feasts. Saturday thus corresponds more nearly to our Monday, and Thursday to our Saturday.

Thus we would have:
Sterrendei ….. Sterday …. Shire Saturday >> our Monday
Sunnenndei ….. Sunday …. Shire Sunday >> our Tuesday
Monendei …… Monday …. Shire Monday >> our Wednesday
Trewesdei ….. Trewsday …. Shire Tuesday >> our Thursday
Hevensdei …… Hevensday (or Hensday) …. Shire Wednesday >> our Friday
Meresdei ….. Mersday …. Shire Thursday >> our Saturday
Highdei ….. Highday …. Shire Friday (chief day) >> our Sunday (chief day)

Going way back to the beginning of the article, we will directly follow each day of the week from ELDAR names to OUR WEEKDAY names:
Orgilion (Elenya) …. Sterrendei …. Sterday …. Shire Saturday …. our Monday
Oranor (Anarya) …. Sunnenndei …. Sunday …. Shire Sunday …. our Tuesday
Orithil (Isilya) …. Monendei …. Monday …. Shire Monday …. our Wednesday
Orgaladhad (Aldúya) …. Trewesdei …. Trewsday …. Shire Tuesday …. our Thursday
Ormenel (Menelya) …. Hevensdei …. Hevensday (or Hensday) …. Shire Wednesday …. our Friday
Oraearon (Eärenya) …. Meresdei …. Mersday …. Shire Thursday …. our Saturday (day inserted by Númenoreans)
Orbelain (Valanya or Tárion) chief day …. Highdei …. Highday …. Shire Friday (chief day) …. our Sunday (chief day)

Now a quick run-down of the days of the week in our modern day order for Sindarin and Quenya:

Days of the Week in Sindarin:
Orbelain …. Sunday
Orgilion …. Monday
Oranor …. Tuesay
Orithil …. Wednesday
Orgaladhad …. Thursday
Ormenel …. Friday
Oraearon …. Saturday

Days of the Week in Quenya:
Valanya …. Sunday
Elenya …. Monday
Anarya …. Tuesday
Isilya …. Wednesday
Aldúya …. Thursday
Menelya …. Friday
Eärenya …. Saturday

There are also two last pieces of “evidence” to show that these calculations are indeed correct …..

In #2 footnote in the ROTK Appendix Tolkien states: “I have therefore in Bilbo’s song (I, 179) used Saturday and Sunday instead of Thursday and Friday.”

If you have the book “The Peoples of Middle-earth”, Tolkien also writes about this in the chapter titled “The Calendars”: “I have translated these names also into our familiar names, and in deciding which name to equate with which modern name I have observed not the Hobbit order (beginning with Sterday), but the meanings. Thus since Sunday and Munday are practically identical with our Sunday and Monday, and have the same ‘dedications’ in the same order, I have equated these and taken the rest in the same order as they stand in the Shire list: thus Hobbit 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 have been translated by our 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. It must be remembered, however, that the associations of the weekday names will thus be different: Saturday, for instance, will correspond closely in Hobbit-custom with our Monday, while Friday will correspond as closely as anything in the Shire with our Sunday.”

* “they” refers to the Númenoreans

….. by Naneth