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Regional Names of Easter

Easter Sunday is the biggest observation in the Christian year and marks the beginning of a series of important occasions for merriment and remembrance.

Easter is a part of many traditions all over the world. Some regions celebrate Easter as remembrance of the resurrection of Christ, others celebrate the arrival of spring and in some regions Easter is a celebration of fertility and dawn.

Most of the regional names of Easter have been derived from the Latin and Greek word ‘Pascha’ or Hebrew ‘Pesach’ meaning Passover. English speaking countries term the day of the feast ‘Easter’ and German speaking tongues refer to the festive day as ‘Ostern’. Both these terms seem to have been derived from the name of an ancient goddess known as Eostre.

Regional names of Easter based on Hebrew Name ‘Pesach’
  • Afrikaans- Paasfees
  • Albanian- Pashkët
  • Amharic- (Fasika)
  • Arabic- Aīdul-Figh
  • Catalan- Pasqua
  • Danish- Påke
  • Dutch- Pasen or Paasfeest
  • Esperanto- Pasko
  • Faroese- Pákir
  • Finnish- Pääsiänen
  • French- Pâues
  • Icelandic- Pákar
  • Indonesian- Paskah
  • Irish- Cáisc
  • Italian- Pasqua
  • Japanese- SeidaiPasuha ( "Holy and Great Pascha", Eastern Orthodox use)
  • Latin- Pascha or FestaPaschalia
  • Norwegian- Påske
  • Persian- Pas`h
  • Polish- Pascha
  • Portuguese- Páscoa
  • Romanian- Paşte
  • Russian- Paskha
  • Scottish Gaelic- Casca
  • Spanish- Pascua
  • Swedish- Påsk
  • Turkish- Paskalya
  • Welsh- Pasg
Regional Names of Easter Based on Pagan Name ‘Eostre’

Eostre is an Anglo-Saxon Goddess worshipped by Pagans. She is believed to be the goddess of dawn (sunrise) and spring. The English word for Easter is said to have been derived from the name of Goddess Eostre. The goddess is alternatively known as Ostara, from where the German word ‘Ostern’ is believed to have originated. Some regions where West Slavic languages are spoken also use various words for Easter that are derived from the same root word as Easter and Ostern.

  • English- Easter
  • German- Ostern
  • Kashubian- Jastrë
  • Upper Sorbian- Jutry
  • Lower Sorbian- Jatšy

There are recent theories that suggest that the terms Easter and Ostern can be linked with baptism. However, since there is no biblical term defined for the day of Resurrection of Christ and the time of Eastern coincides with March Equinox, the name of a shining goddess heralding dawn, spring and fertility continues to be popular as the origin of the term.

Regional Names of Easter Based on ‘Great Day’ or ‘Great Night’

In most Slavic languages, Easter Sunday refers to Great Day or Great Night and the names are translations of the respective terms.

  • Bulgarian- Vělikděn
  • Czech- Velikonoce
  • Latvian- Lieldienas
  • Lithuanian- Velykos
  • Polish- Wielkanoc
  • Slovak- VeľkáNoc
  • Slovenian- Velika no
  • Ukrainian- Vjalikdzěn
Regional Names of Easter Based on ‘Resurrection’

In many regions the name given to Easter Sunday is a direct translation of Resurrection or Resurrection Festival in the regional language.

  • Bosnian- Uskrs or Vaskrs
  • Chinese- FùhuóJié
  • Croatian- Uskrs
  • Korean- Buhwalchol,
  • Lakota-Woekicetuanpetu
  • Serbian- Uskrs or Vaskrs
  • Vietnamese- LễPhụcSinh

There are many more regional names of Easter. Most of these names have different meanings and have been determined based on traditions and rituals related to that region.

Other Regional Names of Easter
  • Estonian- Lihavõtted (literally means ‘meat taking’)
  • Georgian- Aĝdgoma (literally means ‘rising’)
  • Hungarian- Húsvét (literally,‘taking or buying meat’)
  • Armenian- Zatik or Zadik (literally, ‘separation’)
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