I had a debate with my wife the other day about how english speakers(well at least americans) use the term "the weekend". Let me give you an example.

I am a native swedish speaker and I would say:

"I am happy it is weekend", since that is how it is said in swedish. I say that since I would also say "I am happy it is friday". However, all americans I know say it should be said

"I am happy it is the weekend", but everyone agrees on that you never say "I am happy it is the friday".

So, which is it? What is special with the word weekend? Both weekend and friday are nouns as far as I know.