New version of the Gaelic Speakers in Scotland...
New version of the Gaelic Speakers in Scotland map (2001 Census data) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Easter did not come from Ishtar. Those who specialize in word origins (specialize, not blog or write Chick Tracts) debate the origin of this in the English language. Many refer to Bede’s 899 work that seemed to introduce it.

But, what is the holiday actually called? If you want to get religious about it, it is best called Pascha, the Greco-Roman form of the Hebrew Pesach.

Here are names for the holiday from other languages, admittedly mostly European:

Names derived from the Hebrew Pesach (Passover):

  • Latin – Pascha or Festa Paschalia
  • Greek – Paskha
  • Bulgarian – Paskha
  • Danish – Paaske
  • Dutch – Pasen
  • Finnish – Pääsiäinen
  • French – Pâques
  • Indonesian – Paskah
  • Irish – Cáisc
  • Italian – Pasqua
  • Lower Rhine German – Paisken
  • Norwegian – Påske
  • Portuguese – Páscoa
  • Romanian – Pasti
  • Russian – Paskha
  • Scottish Gaelic – Càisg
  • Spanish – Pascua
  • Swedish – Påsk
  • Welsh – Pasg

Names used in other languages:

  • Bulgarian – Velikden (literally: the Grand Day)
  • Polish – Wielkanoc (literally: the Grand Night)
  • Czech – Velikonoce (plural, no singular exists; made from Grand Nights)
  • Slovak – Velká Noc (singular; literally: the Grand Night)
  • Serbian – Uskrs or Vaskrs (literally: resurrection)
  • Japanese – Fukkatsu-sai (lit. resurrection festival)

Whatever the origin of the word “Easter,” the holiday itself is what is more important.