This article is a description of the different names associated with the Passover holiday. Read on to know more about the names of Pesach.
The name that is traditionally associated with the story of exodus of the Hebrews is Passover. Prior to the recordings of the story of exodus in the Holy Book, Passover actually comprised of two festivals, which were observed by the Hebrews. One of them was called the Chag-Ha-Pesach, which meant the "Festival of the Pesach" in Hebrew and the other was Chag Ha-Matzot, which meant the "Festival of Unleavened Bread" in Hebrew. Both of these festivals were observed during the springtime and had no connection with the historical events of exodus. The arrival of the spring season was celebrated by the Jews by giving offerings (lamb) to the Lords. Because of this, the festival was called the ‘Festival of Pesach’ (Pesach means lamb in Hebrew). The other festival i.e. ‘Festival of Unleavened Bread’ got associated with the story of Moses later on. It marked the beginning of the harvest season. The main ritual that the farmers observed in this festival was the removal of all kinds of fermented agents, which were used for the purpose of raising bread. Later, both of these festivals were merged together as one and celebrated as beginning on the 15th day of the month of Nissan. Thus, Passover came to known by different names, such as ‘Spring Festival’, ‘Holiday of Freedom’, ‘Festival of Pesach’ and the ‘Festival of Unleavened Bread’, and so on
Different Names Of Passover
- According to the story of Moses, the Lord set 10 plagues in Egypt, in order to convince the Pharaoh to release the enslaved Hebrews. The 10th plague involved the killing of all the firstborn in the land. However, the Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their houses with the blood of a spring lamb. Upon seeing the mark, the spirit of the Lord passed over these houses and the first-born of the Hebrews was saved from the wrath of the Lords. As the Holy Spirit passed over all the marked houses, the festival came to be known as 'Passover'.
- Passover is also called as Chag Ha-Cheirut or the 'Festival of Freedom or Redemption' as it relates to the entire journey of the Hebrews, from a land of slavery and tyranny towards freedom and redemption.
- Chag Ha-Matzot or Hag Ha-Matzot is another name that is associated with this festival. It means the 'Festival of Unleavened Bread' and represents the matzah or the unleavened bread that was eaten by the Hebrews while leaving Egypt, as they did not have time to wait for the bread to rise.
- The period during which the Israelites entered the land of Palestine (then called Cannan) represents a new phase in their cultural life, which occurred during the spring season. Hence, Passover is also known as Chag Ha-Aviv or Zeman Cherutenu, which means the 'Festival of Spring' or 'Season of Our Liberation'.
- Some common translations of the festival in other languages are Passover in English, Pesach or Pesah in Hebrew, Pessah in French and Pésaj in Spanish.
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