Portuguese Language Blog

The word “feira” in Português Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Culture, Customs, Entertainment, Learning, Vocabulary

In most línguas (languages) the days of the week refer to either astrological bodies or pagan gods. Portuguese, however, seems to be the only Latin language which uses a different name for the dias da semana (days of the week): they all end in “feira”.


The explanation dates back to the year 563 when Portuguese Pope Martinho de Braga and the Igreja Católica (Catholic Church) announced that the days of the week preceding Domingo de Páscoa (Easter Sunday) would no longer be pagan references since it was God who created all seven days. The word feira comes from the word feria in Latin and it means “day of resting”, which is what all Christians should be doing before Domingo de Páscoa in order to please the Lord.

According to Pope Martinho de Braga, Sábado (Saturday) should keep its name since it already had a religious meaning: Sabbath. Domingo, the first day of the week, should keep its name since it came from the Latin Dies Dominicus, meaning the “day of the Lord”.

Starting from the second day of the week, Monday, all the days until Sabbath would then include the ordinal number related to its position in the week followed by the word feira. Because Monday is the second day, it would be called Segunda-feira, meaning second day of resting (before Easter Sunday), Terça-feira means third day of resting and so on.

Soon after the Portuguese Pope made these changes, Portuguese people started using the new names throughout the year, and not only for the days preceding Easter.

Since the Pope was from Portugal, only Portuguese people ended up making the change in the language, this is the reason why the other languages that also come from Latin kept on using the same week day names as they always have.


Answers to last week’s post:

  1. A caneta está em baixo do teclado.
  2. A foto está atrás da caneca e da tela.
  3. O teclado está entre os dois livros.
  4. O celular está do lado esquerdo do livro.
  5. O teclado está entre os dois livros.
  6. As chaves estão dentro da caneca.
  7. O papel está fora do cesto de lixo.
  8. O mouse está do lado direito do livro.
  9. O quadro está acima da tela.
  10. A foto está atrás da tela e da caneca.
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  1. Carlos R, Barron:

    Este e un blog muitoimportanre e practico, obrigado
    Carlos, (em Milwaukee, WI)
    perdon eu estoy tratando de escrber em Portugues.
    Eu falo Espanhol e Ingles