- For Ian McEwan's 2005 novel, see Saturday (novel).
Saturday is the day of the week between Friday and Sunday. Its name is unique among the names of days, in that it is derived from the Roman god Saturn, while the other six names are derived from Saxon gods.
By tradition derived from ancient Jews, Saturday is the last day of the week. That convention remains universally standard in the United States, but in modern Europe many people now consider Saturday the sixth (penultimate) day of the week, and Sunday the last. The modern European convention has been formalized by ISO 8601. On the other hand, in many Islamic countries, Saturdays are the first day of the week, with Fridays as holidays.
In the popular rhyme, "Saturday's Child works hard for a living".
In ancient Jewish tradition Saturday is the sabbath. Many languages lack separate words for "Saturday" and "sabbath". Eastern Orthodox churches distinguish between the sabbath (Saturday) and the Lord's day (Sunday). Roman Catholics put so little emphasis on that distinction that many among them follow – at least in colloquial language – the Protestant practice of calling Sunday the sabbath. Quakers traditionally refer to Saturday as "Seventh Day" eschewing the "pagan" origin of the name.
In Scandinavian countries, Saturday is called Lördag or Löverdag etc., the name being derived from the old word laugr, meaning bath, thus Lördag equates to bath-day.
The modern Maori name for it, Rahoroi, means "washing-day".
In many countries where Sundays are holidays, Saturday is part of the weekend, and traditionally is a day of relaxation. Many parties are held on Saturdays, because it precedes Sunday, another day of rest, and oftentimes clubs, bars and restaurants are open later Saturdays than on weeknights.
Saturday is the usual day for elections in Australia and the only day in New Zealand which elections can be held on.
In 2005, Ian McEwan published a novel entitled Saturday about a day in the life of a brain surgeon.