What do you call the Resurrection Feast?

At this time of year we always start seeing assertions that Easter is a pagan celebration of fertility and sex, originally dedicated to a goddess named variously Ishtar, Astarte, or Ostara. The Christians are said to have simply taken the bunny-festival and assimilated it into the Church calendar.

So how central is the goddess Ishtar/Easter to this commemoration? Maybe this will clarify it:: Who is the feast named for in your language?

From Aramaic Pascha, Hebrew Pesach [Passover]:

  • Albanian: Pashke
  • Azerbaijani: Pasxa
  • Bulgarian – Paskha
  • Catalan: Pasqua
  • Cebuano: Paskuwa, or Pasko sa Pagkabanhaw (Resurrection Pascha)
  • Danish: Paaske
  • Dutch: Pasen
  • Finnish: Pääsiäinen
  • French: Pâques
  • Frisian: Peaske
  • Greek: Paskha
  • Icelandic: Páska
  • Indonesian: Paskah
  • Irish: Cáisc
  • Italian: Pasqua
  • Latin: Pascha
  • Lower Rhine German: Paisken
  • Norwegian: Påske
  • Portuguese: Páscoa
  • Romanian: Paşti
  • Russian: Paskha
  • Scottish Gaelic: Càisg
  • Spanish: Pascua
  • Swedish: Påsk
  • Tagalog: Pasko ng Pagkabuhay (Resurrection Pascha)
  • Turkish: Paskalya
  • Welsh: Pasg

Other names:

  • Bulgarian: Velikden (literally: the Great Day)
  • Croatian: Uskrs or Vaskrs (literally: Resurrection)
  • Czech: Velikonoce (plural, no singular exists; from Great Nights)
  • Georgian: აღდგომის, aghdgomis (literally: Resurrection)
  • Latvian: Lielā diena (literally: Great Day)
  • Lithuanian: Velykos (Slavic loan word for: Great)
  • Polish: Wielkanoc (literally: the Great Night)
  • Slovak: Velká Noc (singular; literally: the Great Night)
  • Japanese: Fukkatsu-sai (literally: Resurrection Festival)

Totally unrelated:

  • English: Easter (reportedly from the name of a Saxon deity*)
  • German: Ostern (same?)

*I might add that the only source as far as I know for the “Saxon goddess” connection is in St Bede’s The Reckoning of Time, and he is writing about 200 years after the Anglo-Saxons were Christianized, so he is passing on hearsay that is nowhere corroborated.

Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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