Start hammering, it’s Thor’s Day (pronounced ‘Thursday’), a day to be thankful and in charge

By David G. Allan

What would a Norse god do on his namesake day: be grateful, or start celebrating the weekend early?

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This is part 4 in a 7-part series on the meaning, facts, pop culture and inspiration contained within the history and psychology of each day of the week.
Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday| Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Thursday should, etymologically speaking, be your power day. For English speakers, today is Thor’s Day. In Spanish it’s Jueves, in French it’s Jeudi, both derived from Jupiter, the powerful god from the Roman pantheon, counterpart of the Greek’s Zeus, the god of the skies and thunder.

Thursday is the day to throw down lightning and drop the hammer! On this day, as Kanye says, we become legendary.

But it isn’t really that at all, is it? Only Tuesday is more forgettably lackluster among the days of the week.

“Thursday is perhaps the worst day of the week. It’s nothing in itself,” writes suspense writer Nicci French in the novel “Thursday’s Child.” “It just reminds you that the week has been going on too long.”

Thursday stands in the way as a final hurdle before the Friday finish line. It’s a fact of life, to be impatiently endured rather than embraced.

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“Thursday, I don’t care about you,” sang Robert Smith in The Cure’s “Friday, I’m in love.” Thursday doesn’t deserve to be anyone’s favorite, or even least favorite, day. The whole column could fall off the wall calendar and no one would cheer or mourn.

We “thank God” for Friday, not Thor’s Day. But maybe we should be more thankful, to God or the gods or whatever you give thanks to. More thankful for everything we have going for us. This day, if we choose, could be a weekly reminder to give thanks.

That notion compliments the annual American holiday devoted to giving thanks — which, by presidential proclamation, always falls on a Thursday.

The reason Thanksgiving is the country’s only Thursday holiday, the Old Farmer’s Almanac speculates, is that the Puritans wanted this secular day of praise to have enough distance from the Sunday Sabbath, their weekly religious day of praise.

Here are a couple of more reasons to be grateful for Thursdays. Most people reported they get their best night sleep on this day, according to one (unscientific) survey. Seemingly related (but not really) is that this day has the fewest deaths from heart attacks and firearms, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.

If you go in for superstitions, in Thailand it’s considered good luck to start the school year or get a haircut on Thursday. In Germany, however, it’s considered bad luck to start the school year on a Thursday, or get married that day. In Johnny Mathis’ “Sweet Thursday” — a rare song featuring this day of the week in the title — the velvet-voiced crooner meets his true love on this day.

So maybe instead of pushing Thursday to the ground to get to Friday and the weekend, it’s a day to actually help it stand tall and for us to be thankful, even if you’re just grateful it’s not still Monday.

In college, as many students know, Thursday practically IS the weekend, for which many an undergrad is grateful. The unpopularity, and therefore lack, of Friday classes gives them an excuse to raise a red plastic Solo cup and start celebrating “thirst day.”

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Or channel your inner Chris Helmsworth, grab the hammer, summon the lightning, and destroy your enemies — which could be anything from knocking out the worst thing on your “to do” list, or starting that new fitness routine that gets you one step closer to revealing your inner Thor abdominals, trapped inside and roaring to get out.

Forget looking backward on social media for “Throwback Thursday.” We will declare our intentions to fight forward! Let’s do it, everyone! Today is our day, by gods, and we must seize it!

And if we don’t? Whatever. We can always do it on Friday (the subject of the next story in this series).

As for making Thursdays better: Any day of the week holds the capacity to be your favorite. All it requires is taking control of it and bending it to your will, the subject of my story on hacking your week for CNN.com.

David G. Allan is CNN’s editorial director of Features overseeing CNN Travel, Style, Space + Science and Wellness. He writes a column for CNN called The Wisdom Project that can be subscribed to here.

CNN’s Editorial Director of Features (Travel, Style, Wellness, Science), plus The Wisdom Project column. This account represents my personal views, not CNN’s.

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