The Names of Easter
Early Christians called Easter- Pesach, which is the
Hebrew name for Passover. Today, names for Easter all over the world are
similar to the word Pesach.
In France, Easter is called Paques;
In Spain, it is Pascua;
In Italy, Pasqua.
The Norwegians call Easter Paaske,
The Dutch call it Paach
The Swedish call it Pasko
In Albania, Easter is Pashke;
In Greece and Russia, Easter is Pascha.
Our English name "Easter" is
newer than other European names for the holiday.
Before Christianity was
accepted in early England, the people there celebrated each vernal equinox
with a feast honoring their goddess of the spring who was named Eostre.
About 1,400 years ago, the early English Christians wanted others to
accept Christianity, so they decided to use the name Easter for their
holiday so that it would match the name of the old spring celebration.
Early Christians often embraced the names and customs of ancient holidays
so that it would be more comfortable for other people to accept and
believe in Christianity.