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"First day of week", as shown by calendars in general use, is different depending on country. Example:

Week starting: Monday (Monday) versus Week starting: Sunday (Sunday).

What is its meaning/use in countries where English is an official language (e.g. USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa, Malta, Ireland, Canada)?

I am looking for an answer similar to

"In [country] it is Monday, whereas in [country] it is Sunday. Also in [country] it is Sunday, while in [country] it is Monday. ..."

Thus, maybe just take a look at your calendar and tell me what you see (and where you are located).

Related: http://www.tondering.dk/claus/cal/week.php, "What is the first day of the week?" (which neither gives a list).

2

The list of countries where English is an official language is very long. Looking at just the ones you list in your "for example", here's what timeanddate.com's calendar generator has to say:

Australia: Sunday
Canada: Sunday
India: Sunday
Ireland: Monday
New Zealand: Sunday
South Africa: Sunday
United Kingdom: Monday
United States: Sunday

Timeanddate.com doesn't include Malta for some reason, so I checked a tourism website and it says Monday.

  • 1
    Note: At ell.stackexchange.com the week starts on Sunday. This can be seen when looking at ones profile and there at the votes cast "this week". The counter is reset in the night between Saturday and Sunday (probably midnight, but I didn't test that). – Stephen May 12 '13 at 16:08
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The most official resource is probably the Unicode CLDR Project. It has this to say:

<!-- Note, this firstDay is for the first day of the week in a calendar page view. -->
<!-- The first workday of the week (after the weekend) is distinct, and can be determined as the day after the weekendEnd day.  -->
<firstDay day="mon"  territories="001 AD AI AL AM AN AT AX AZ BA BE BG BM BN CH CL CM CR CY CZ DE DK EC EE ES FI FJ FO FR GB GE GF GP GR HR HU IS IT KG KZ LB LI LK LT LU LV MC MD ME MK MN MQ MY NL NO PL PT RE RO RS RU SE SI SK SM TJ TM TR UA UY UZ VA VN XK" />
<firstDay day="fri"  territories="BD MV" />
<firstDay day="sat"  territories="AE AF BH DJ DZ EG IQ IR JO KW LY MA OM QA SD SY" />
<firstDay day="sun"  territories="AG AR AS AU BR BS BT BW BY BZ CA CN CO DM DO ET GT GU HK HN ID IE IL IN JM JP KE KH KR LA MH MM MO MT MX MZ NI NP NZ PA PE PH PK PR PY SA SG SV TH TN TT TW UM US VE VI WS YE ZA ZW" />
<firstDay day="sun"  territories="GB" alt="variant" references="Shorter Oxford Dictionary (5th edition, 2002)"/>

<weekendStart day="thu"  territories="AF DZ IR OM"/>
<weekendStart day="fri"  territories="AE BH EG IL IQ JO KW LY MA QA SA SD SY TN YE"/>
<weekendStart day="sat"  territories="001"/>
<weekendStart day="sun"  territories="IN"/>

<weekendEnd day="fri"  territories="AF DZ IR OM"/>
<weekendEnd day="sat"  territories="AE BH EG IL IQ JO KW LY MA QA SA SD SY TN YE"/>
<weekendEnd day="sun"  territories="001"/>

The 001 comes from here and as far as I understand it refers to all regions not explicitly listed.

Also here is a more readable version of the current project release: https://unicode.org/cldr/charts/34/supplemental/territory_information.html

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    Your answer lists the first day for all countries. And from your answer we can also see that there are some countries where the weekend is not Sat & Sun but e.g. Fri & Sat, which is valuable additional information. Therefore +1! & Thanks! – Stephen Oct 20 '13 at 16:04
2

The first day of the calendar week may be either Sunday or Monday, depending on the country. However, the first day of the regular work week is Monday.

Additionally, Sunday is said to be part of the weekend regardless of whether it is the first or last day of the week.

  • "either Sunday or Monday, depending on the country" - that's my question. +1 for "weekend", I was not really sure about that, too. – Stephen Mar 25 '13 at 20:46
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    @Stephen Notice that weekend doesn't mean "the end of the week." Weekend is always Saturday and Sunday. – kiamlaluno Apr 14 '13 at 15:25
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Maybe the first day of week depends on religion rather than the country.

Generally, because of different religions, the first day of week is different in different regions or countries. For example, Saturday is the first day of week in Egypt; Sunday in Japan; Monday in China; Sunday to the world of Judaism; Friday to the world of Islam; and so on.

Additionally, the ISO prescribes Monday as the first day of the week with ISO-8601 for software date formats. And more and more English dictionaries define Monday as the first day of week—otherwise, does weekend make any sense?

All in all, it is not easy to say what day is the first day of week, just depending on a different point of view. For more information, we can refer to the Wikipedia article Names of the days of the week.

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