Many people have been getting ready for Easter this week, while many others have been celebrating Passover. But do you know how the two holidays are linked? A colleague who shares my interest in etymology passed along some info on the origin of the word Easter, as well as the connection to Passover (from History.com), and I can’t resist sharing:
The exact origins of this religious feast day’s name are unknown. Some
sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of
spring and fertility. Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada
alba, or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing
donned by people who were baptized during that time. Through a translation
error, the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually
became Easter in English. In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French,
Paques. These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover. Jesus’ crucifixion
and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or
Pesach in Hebrew), the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites’
exodus from slavery in Egypt. Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.
That’s probably more than any student needs to know. But you can help students increase their cultural understanding of Easter—without the linguistic geek-out—through Millbrook’s Easter around the World. Explore the many ways that kids and families will be celebrating this weekend (and in the weeks to come) around the globe.
Also, happy Earth Day! Enjoy today’s Google doodle and go be kind to the environment: leave the car in the garage, plant a tree, see what you can recycle or reuse instead of throwing it in the trash. (Get crafty!)
Best wishes for any and all holidays you may be celebrating this weekend!