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The workweek and weekend are those complementary parts of the week devoted to labour and rest, respectively. The legal working week (British English), or workweek (U.S. English), is the part of the seven-day week devoted to labour. In most of the Western world it is Monday to Friday; the weekend is a time period including Saturday to Sunday. A weekday is any day of the working week. As well as places of work, other institutions often follow the same days, such as places of education.

Some people extend the weekend to Friday nights as well. In some Christian traditions, Sunday is the « Lord’s Day » and the day of rest and worship. Jewish Shabbat or Biblical Sabbath lasts from sunset on Friday to the fall of full darkness on Saturday, leading to a Friday–Saturday weekend in Israel. Some Muslim-majority countries historically had a Thursday–Friday or Friday–Saturday weekend; however, recently many such countries have shifted from Thursday–Friday to Friday–Saturday, or to Saturday–Sunday. The French Revolutionary Calendar had ten-day weeks (calleddécades) and allowed décadi, one out of the ten days, as a leisure day.

The present-day concept of the weekend first arose from the Jewish Sabbath. The Christian Sabbath was just one day each week, but the preceding day (the Jewish Sabbath) came to be taken as a holiday as well in the twentieth century. This shift has been accompanied by a reduction in the total number of hours worked per week, following changes in employer expectations. Proposals have continued to be put forward for further reductions in the number of days or hours worked per week, on the basis of predicted social and economic benefits.

(Source : Wikipedia)

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