I have a field which stores the days of the week in binary representation. For example, Mon-Wed-Fri would be represented as b'0101010' with the 1st digit as Sunday and the last as Saturday.

What I want to achieve: If today is Monday, I want to check if the Monday bit is set to 1. I do that by doing (b'0101010' & b'0100000' > 0). But I am struggling in converting the current date into the corresponding weekday binary representation. How can I achieve so?

1 Answer 1


The following expression will give the bit representation of today's day of week:

  • POW(2, n) raises 2 to the nth power, which is the same as shifting 1 n bits from the right.
  • DAYOFWEEK(date) returns the day of the week as a number, with Sunday = 1.
  • Since you have the low-numbered dates in the high-order bits, 7 - DOW converts that to Sunday = 6, Saturday = 0.

Wouldn't it be easier to declare the column as a SET, though? Then you could just use FIND_IN_SET().

  • I was not aware of this column SET. Also your formula works!
    – drum
    May 24, 2013 at 6:25
  • Sets are implemented as bit masks just like you're doing, but MySQL takes care of translating to and from strings for programming ease.
    – Barmar
    May 24, 2013 at 6:33
  • If I use SET, would I need 1 column per bit?
    – drum
    May 24, 2013 at 6:54
  • 1
    No, it's just like you're doing. Read the documentation of mysql SET datatype
    – Barmar
    May 24, 2013 at 6:56

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