Velykden or Paskha: how to call the holiday of the Resurrection of Christ in Ukraine properly

Bylim Olena

Velykden or Paskha: how to call the holiday of the Resurrection of Christ in Ukraine properly
Easter in Ukraine

One of the biggest Christian holidays, the Resurrection of Christ, is called differently in Ukraine. These are "Paskha" and "Velykden".

The word "Velykden" comes from the Old Russian calque from the Greek language, the meaning of which is "Great Sunday" (μεγάλη ἡμέρα). This word has been used in the Ukrainian language since ancient times and is more correct than the word "Paskha", which comes from the Hebrew word "pesaḥ," which means "passing by".

Read also: The three longest words in the Ukrainian language are named

The "Great Ukrainian Encyclopedia" of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine provides information on the meaning of the word "Velykden."

It is noted that the name "Velykden" spread at the end of the first millennium together with the Christianization of the Eastern Slavs, Ancient Russia.

"According to a legend, the name Velykden arose because at the time of Christ's birth, the sun was shining brightly and the days were so long that seven of the current days would have to be added to make one of those days. Then, as the sun would rise on Sunday morning, it would set until Saturday evening. And when Christ was crucified, the days were shortened. Among Eastern Slavs, there were widespread ideas that "the sun plays" or "walks", everything rejoices and has fun "in Heaven and on Earth" on Velykden," the report says.

You can also find an interpretation of the words "Velykden" and "Velykoden" on the wiki portal "Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language" of the Borys Grinchenko Kyiv Metropolitan University.

According to this dictionary, "Velykden" is the same as "Holy Sunday", the oldest and most important Christian holiday, celebrated (on the first Sunday after the first spring Full Moon) in memory of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

"Velykoden" is the same as Velykden

The popular teacher of the Ukrainian language Oleksandr Avramenko emphasizes, "The word "Pashka" can not be found in Borys Grinchenko's dictionary. And in other dictionaries, it is presented with various restrictions."

Avramenko noted that "Paskha" is the name of the corresponding Jewish holiday. And it is from this name that the word "paska" - a sweet bread that is baked before Velykoden - comes from.

"And the spring Christian holiday of the Resurrection of Christ is called "Velykden" in our language", the linguist added.

We suggest you find out what dishes should be on the festive table on Easter.

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