I guess we have weekends by reason of religion. The Bible breaks it down into a 7 day week. I am not gonna' venture a guess how other religions of the world run their "week". What I do know is that in America, and many English speaking countries, Saturday and Sunday are looked forward to with much anticipation. does the rest of the world take Saturday and Sunday off? I doubt it.
Here's how it used to be when I was a kid.
Saturday was not a "day off". Stores closed on Wed afternoon and stayed open on Sat.mornings We still have a store, Danielsville Hardware, that follows the old tradition. Steve closes on Wed. aft and stays open till noon on Sat. That was the way of it in the Old South.
Here's a synopsis of how we lived in Georgia until the 60's. People used to do their "business" in town on Sat. mornings. Wed afternoon and Saturday afternoon were honey do, fishing, mowing grass and tending to home affairs. Saturday morn, folks came to town to trade and do whatever business they had in the county seat, or big town: women did the shopping, and went visiting. Kids might catch the latest Roy Rogers or Gene Autry western, if they had a nickle. Men talked farming, politics, lied about the fish they caught and "wheeled and dealed". Everybody did their legal business, as courthouses were open on Sat mornings.
Bob Brown informed me that Georgia County Seats were chosen for proximity to populations. The formula was that a man should be able to go to his County Seat, perform his business, and return home in a day. It took 159 counties to accomplish this in a state as big as Georgia. In today's world, it has become an unwieldy monster of duplicity, this county thing in Georgia. It no longer is relevant, but it is a political hot potatoe and ain't nobody going there. Who would want to give up "Madison County, Home of the Red Raiders", and join up with that "bunch or perverts" from the County 10 miles down the road. Nobody.
Sundays were a day of church in the mornings. Then off to a local restaurants catering to the after church crowd, or "goin' to Mama and 'nems" for Sunday dinner.You usually had a couple of service stations and a pharmacy that were open "of a Sunday" when I was growing up. Rest of Sunday was lazy time with a "catch as catch can, every man for himself" supper. Mama was not cooking.
Many Southern States have/had Sunday "blue laws". You couldn't date a check on a Sunday's date. No hunting on Sunday. Car titles couldn't be transferred on Sunday. I remember South Carolina built a "Motor Mile" didicated to new car dealers. The couldn't sell a car cause it was against the law. They finally resolved it, after months of hasselling, opening the door for Walmart and the other box stores. No alcohol sales on Sunday. We, in most of the South still have to buy "Sunday" beer on Sat. night by 11:30, or go without.
Personally, weekends don't mean much after you "retire". It's pretty much the same thing everyday of the week for me. Hump Day is everyday. Partying on Thurs night, as we did in college is a not on the radar anymore. Hot time in town is usually a music session at Bud's or Tommy's.
How did weekends get to be such a big deal? Affluence? The 40 hour workweek? College Football? Whatever it was changed years of tradition in an amazingly short time. People travel further to see a football game than their grandfather traveled all total in his life.. I knew people in the 70's that had never traveled 150 miles to Charleston, State Capitol of WV in their lives when I was living up there.
Weekends are big business; the economy thrives on our days off. Colleges, Churches, Big Box Stores, Pro Sports teams, TV and even the flea markets pray for a pretty weekend...Lordy, how the money rolls in. We are addicted to Saturday and Sunday.
What if the weekend were Tues. and Wed? We'd get used to it. Hooray for Tues and Wed. Go Dawgs! You going to the Florida/Ga. on Tues? Sounds crazy buy it might happen!