Easter and Passover: different holidays with a shared etymology



Easter, a traditional Christian festivity, commemorates the resurrection of Christ and takes place on the first Sunday following the full moon after the spring equinox. Passover is a Jewish celebration that commemorates the liberation from slavery of the Israelites in ancient Egypt over 3,300 years ago.

Although these two holidays have different names and different historical backgrounds they have a lot in common, particularly the etymological origin of the name these holidays celebrate.

Although the English term Easter comes from Ēastre, the name given to a goddess celebrated in the spring equinox, in many other languages the term used to designate Easter, the Christian holiday, shares the derivation of the Jewish name for Passover. The origin of this coincidence is that both celebrations occur in the same period and both celebrate a passage, to the Promised Land and from winter to spring.

Hebrew: Passover ‏‏‫‫פסח‬‬ (Pesach) 
French: Pâques from the Latin Pascha or Hebrew Pesach (passage)
Portuguese: Páscoa from the Latin Pascha or Hebrew Pesach (passage)
Spanish: Pascua from the Latin Pascha or Hebrew Pesach (passage)
Italian: Pasqua from the Latin Pascha or Hebrew Pesach (passage)

Examples of other languages whose name for Easter share the Hebrew etymology include, the Basque Pazko, Catalan Pasqua, Azerbaijan Pasxa, Hatian Pak, Danish and Norwegian Påske, Swedish Påsk, Gailic Pasg, Dutch Pasen, Indonesian and Malay Paskah, Icelandic Páskar, Turkish Paskalya and Romanian Pasti.

By Dulce