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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

bulletBased 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:
bulletAfrikaans: Paasfees
bulletAlbanian: Pashkët
bulletAmharic: (Fasika)
bulletArabic: عيد الفصح (Aīd ul-Figh)
bulletAzeri Pasxa: Fish (pronounced fis`h)
bulletBerber: tafaska (nowadays it is the name of the Muslim "Festival of sacrifice")
bulletCatalan: Pasqua
bulletDanish: Påke
bulletDutch: Pasen or paasfeest
bulletEsperanto: Pasko
bulletFaroese: Pákir (plural, no singular exists)
bulletFinnish: Pääsiänen
bulletFrench: Pâues
bulletGreek: Πάσχα (Pascha)
bulletHebrew: פסחא (Pascha)
bulletIcelandic: Pákar
bulletIndonesian: Paskah
bulletIrish: Cáisc
bulletItalian: Pasqua
bulletJapanese: Seidai Pasuha, "Holy and Great Pascha", used by Eastern Orthodox members
bulletLatin: Pascha or Festa Paschalia
bulletLower Rhine: German Paisken
bulletMalayalam: പെശഹ (Pæsacha/Pæsaha)
bulletNorthern Ndebele: Pasika
bulletNorwegian: Påske
bulletPersian: Pas`h
bulletPolish: Pascha
bulletPortuguese: Páscoa
bulletRomanian: Paşte
bulletRussian: Пасха (Paskha)
bulletScottish Gaelic: Casca
bulletSpanish: Pascua
bulletSwedish: Påsk
bulletTagalog: (Philippines) Pasko ng Muling Pagkabuhay (literally "the Pasch of the Resurrection")
bulletTurkish Paskalya
bulletWelsh: Pasg
bulletBased on "Great Day" or "Great Night:" This is used in most Slavic languages:
bulletBulgarian: Великден (Vělikděn')
bulletCzech: Velikonoce
bulletLatvian Lieldienas (Plural; no singular exists)
bulletLithuanian Velykos (Plural; no singular exists)
bulletPolish: Wielkanoc
bulletSlovak: Veľká Noc
bulletSlovenian: Velika no
bulletUkrainian: Вялікдзень (Vjalikdzěn') 
bulletBased on "Resurrection"
bulletBosnian: Uskrs or Vaskrs (literally "resurrection")
bulletChinese: Fùhuó Jié (literally "Resurrection Festival")
bulletCroatian: "Uskrs," meaning 'Resurrection'."
bulletKorean: Buhwalchol, literally "Resurrection Festival"
bulletLakota Woekicetuanpetu (literally "Resurrection Day")
bulletSerbian Ускрс (Uskrs) or Васкрс (Vaskrs, literally "resurrection")
bulletVietnamese Lễ Phục Sinh (literally, "Festival of Resurrection")
bulletBased on multiple names:
bulletArmenian: Զատիկ (Zatik or Zadik, literally "separation") or Սուրբ Հարություն (Sourb Haroutiwn, literally "holy resurrection")
bulletBelarusian: Вялікдзень or (Vialikdzen', literally "the Great Day")
bulletBulgarian: Великден (Velikden, literally "the Great Day") or Възкресение Христово (Vazkresenie Hristovo, literally "Resurrection of Christ")
bulletJapanese: Iisutaa, pronunciation of Easter in Japanese katakana or Fukkatsusai, literally "Resurrection Festival"
bulletMacedonian Велигден (Veligden, literally "the Great Day") or, rarely Воскрес (Voskres, literally "resurrection")
bulletUkrainian: Великдень (Velykden) or Паска (Paska)
bulletOther bases:
bulletEstonian: Lihavõtted (literally "meat taking")
bulletGeorgian: აღდგომა (Aĝdgoma, literally "rising")
bulletHungarian Húsvét: (literally "taking, or buying meat")
bulletMaltese L-Għid il-Kbir (means, "the Great Feast")
bulletOssetic куадзæh, means "end of fasting"
bulletPersian عيد پاك (literally "Chaste Feast")
bulletTongan (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: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  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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