Professor Anna-Leena Siikala finds it possible that Päivätär was a goddess who ruled over life and light. Some prayers dedicated to her have survived to this day. During Christian period, she was replaced by Virgin Mary.
Päivätär is mentioned in Finnish folk poetry but there is little information of them. In the story of a party in Päivölä (which is a place on Earth in this story), Päivätär advises they not invite Lemminkäinen. In another poem Päivätär advises his son not to go to the party as there are dangers on the way there, though he goes anyway. Päivätär and Kuutar are also the emuus of bees, wasps and hornets and appear in spells that were sung in order to prevent these insects from stinging. There is also one spell that states that the world tree grew from the golden and silver tears of Kuutar and Päivätär:
"--Kuutar itki kultiahan, / Päivätär hopehiahan, / vierahti vesipisara, / kaunihille kasvollensa, / kaunihilta kasvoltahan, / riveälle rinnallensa, / tuosta vierähti norohon; / tuosta kasvoi kaunis tuomi, / yleni rutimon raita--".
"--Kuutar cried her gold, / Päivätär her silver, / a droplet rolled, / on her beautiful face, / from her beautiful face, / to her chest, / from there it rolled into a rivulet; / from that grew a beautiful bird cherry, / rose an iron trunk--"
The name "Päivätär" originates from the word päivä ("sun", Modern Finnish "day"), which derives from Proto-Uralic *päiwä. -tar/-tär is a feminine suffix.