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The names for Easter in various languages

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Easter Sunday is the most important day in the Christian liturgical year.

It is called by many names in different languages:

bullet Based on Pagan name: The English word, "Easter" and the German word "Ostern" are widely believed to have been derived from the name of an ancient Pagan Goddess Eostre. Alternate, less common, names for the holy day in English-speaking contries are the "Sunday of the Resurrection," "Pascha," and "Resurrection Day."

Based on a mistranslation into German:

According to German scholar J. Knoblech:

"Among Latin-speaking Christians, the week beginning with the Feast of the Resurrection was known as hebdomada alba [white week], since the newly-baptised Christians were accustomed to wear their white baptismal robes throughout that week. Sometimes the week was referred to simply as albae [white].'

According to Knoblech, when the word was translated into German, it was mistaken for the plural of alba meaning 'dawn', and so the 'white' connection was forgotten: 'They accordingly rendered it as Eostarum, which is Old High German for "dawn".' And thus came the word 'Easter' in English." 2

bullet Based on "Pesach:"  In most of the remaining languages in countries with a Christian heritage, the name for Easter is derived from "Pesach" ("פסחא" in Hebrew) the name for Passover:  These include:
bullet Afrikaans: Paasfees
bullet Albanian: Pashkt
bullet Amharic: (Fasika)
bullet Arabic: عيد الفصح (Aīd ul-Figh)
bullet Azeri Pasxa: Fish (pronounced fis`h)
bullet Berber: tafaska (nowadays it is the name of the Muslim "Festival of sacrifice")
bullet Catalan: Pasqua
bullet Danish: Pke
bullet Dutch: Pasen or paasfeest
bullet Esperanto: Pasko
bullet Faroese: Pkir (plural, no singular exists)
bullet Finnish: Psinen
bullet French: Pues
bullet Greek: Πάσχα (Pascha)
bullet Hebrew: פסחא (Pascha)
bullet Icelandic: Pkar
bullet Indonesian: Paskah
bullet Irish: Cisc
bullet Italian: Pasqua
bullet Japanese: Seidai Pasuha, "Holy and Great Pascha", used by Eastern Orthodox members
bullet Latin: Pascha or Festa Paschalia
bullet Lower Rhine: German Paisken
bullet Malayalam: പെശഹ (Psacha/Psaha)
bullet Northern Ndebele: Pasika
bullet Norwegian: Pske
bullet Persian: Pas`h
bullet Polish: Pascha
bullet Portuguese: Pscoa
bullet Romanian: Paşte
bullet Russian: Пасха (Paskha)
bullet Scottish Gaelic: Casca
bullet Spanish: Pascua
bullet Swedish: Psk
bullet Tagalog: (Philippines) Pasko ng Muling Pagkabuhay (literally "the Pasch of the Resurrection")
bullet Turkish Paskalya
bullet Welsh: Pasg
bullet Based on "Great Day" or "Great Night:" This is used in most Slavic languages:
bullet Bulgarian: Великден (Vělikděn')
bullet Czech: Velikonoce
bullet Latvian Lieldienas (Plural; no singular exists)
bullet Lithuanian Velykos (Plural; no singular exists)
bullet Polish: Wielkanoc
bullet Slovak: Veľk Noc
bullet Slovenian: Velika no
bullet Ukrainian: Вялікдзень (Vjalikdzěn') 
bullet Based on "Resurrection"
bullet Bosnian: Uskrs or Vaskrs (literally "resurrection")
bullet Chinese: Fhu Ji (literally "Resurrection Festival")
bullet Croatian: "Uskrs," meaning 'Resurrection'."
bullet Korean: Buhwalchol, literally "Resurrection Festival"
bullet Lakota Woekicetuanpetu (literally "Resurrection Day")
bullet Serbian Ускрс (Uskrs) or Васкрс (Vaskrs, literally "resurrection")
bullet Vietnamese Lễ Phục Sinh (literally, "Festival of Resurrection")
bullet Based on multiple names:
bullet Armenian: Զատիկ (Zatik or Zadik, literally "separation") or Սուրբ Հարություն (Sourb Haroutiwn, literally "holy resurrection")
bullet Belarusian: Вялікдзень or (Vialikdzen', literally "the Great Day")
bullet Bulgarian: Великден (Velikden, literally "the Great Day") or Възкресение Христово (Vazkresenie Hristovo, literally "Resurrection of Christ")
bullet Japanese: Iisutaa, pronunciation of Easter in Japanese katakana or Fukkatsusai, literally "Resurrection Festival"
bullet Macedonian Велигден (Veligden, literally "the Great Day") or, rarely Воскрес (Voskres, literally "resurrection")
bullet Ukrainian: Великдень (Velykden) or Паска (Paska)
bullet Other bases:
bullet Estonian: Lihavtted (literally "meat taking")
bullet Georgian: აღდგომა (Aĝdgoma, literally "rising")
bullet Hungarian Hsvt: (literally "taking, or buying meat")
bullet Maltese L-Għid il-Kbir (means, "the Great Feast")
bullet Ossetic куадзh, means "end of fasting"
bullet Persian عيد پاك (literally "Chaste Feast")
bullet Tongan (South-pacific) Pekia (literally "death (of a lord)")

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Site navigation:

Home > Christianity > Practices > Holy days > Easter > here

Home > Christianity > Christian personalitiesJesus > Easter > here

or Home > Religious information > GodJesus > Easter > here

or Home > Spirituality > GodJesus > Easter > here

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Reference used:

  1. "Easter," Wikipedia, at:
  2. From Andrea Barham, "The Pendant's Revolt."

Mostly transferred from Wikipedia under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
Original posting: 2007-APR-11
Latest update: 2018-APR-09

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