Easter in Arabic

ma3mūl (معمول‎‎): Filled with walnuts, dates, or pistachios and topped with sugar, this Levantine pastry is a traditional Easter treat. (Learn more in this article by Amy Robertson, a former student at the Lebanese Arabic Institute)

Easter in Arabic is “3īd lfiSH / عيد الفِصْح“. To wish someone a Happy Easter, you can use one of the following greetings:

Glorious Easter 3īd fiSH majīd
عيد فِصْح مَجيد
Happy Easter 3īd fiSH sa3īd
عيد فِصْح سَعيد

A traditional exchange of greetings between Christians on Easter runs as follows:

Christ is risen! ĀalmaSiH qām!
المَسيح قام!
He is risen indeed Haqqan qām
حَقّاً قام

Of course, it is also appropriate to use general holiday greetings which are suitable for any festive occasion.

The words for Easter and Passover (Pesach) are identical in Arabic. If there is some ambiguity, the two holidays may be distinguished by adding the relevant adjective “masīHiyy / مَسيحي” (“Christian”) or “yahūdiyy / يَهودي” (“Jewish”); these are pronounced “masīHé” and “yahūdé” in colloquial Lebanese, i.e. “3īd fiSH masīHé / عيد فِصْح مَسيحي“ or “3īd fiSH yahūdé / عيد فِصْح يَهودي“.

ma3mūl bjōz / معمول بجوز:
pastry filled with walnuts
ma3mūl btamir / معمول بتمر:
pastry filled with dates
ma3mūl bfistuĀ Halabé / معمول بفستق حلبي:
pastry filled with pistachios

The following table contains additional terminology related to the period leading up to Easter. An asterisk (*) indicates colloquial Lebanese pronunciation only; otherwise, the pronunciation is Modern Standard Arabic.

Lent (“The Great Fast”) ĀaSSawm lkabīr
الصَّوْم الكَبير
Palm Sunday ĀaHad šša3ānīn
أَحَد الشَّعانين
*3īd šša3nīneŧ
*عيد الشَّعنينة
Blessed Palm Sunday *ša3nīneŧ mubārakeŧ
*شَعْنينة مُبارَكِة
Holy Thursday ĀalЌamīs lmuqaddas
الخَميس المُقَدَّس
Thursday of Mysteries Ќamīs lĀasrār
خَميس الأَسْرار
The Last Supper Āal3ašāĀ lĀaЌīr
العَشاء الأَخير
Good Friday (“Sad Friday”) Āaljum3aŧ lHazīnaŧ
الجُمْعَة الحَزينَة
*jjum3aŧ lHazīneŧ
*الجُّمْعَة الحَزينِة
Good Friday (“Great Friday”) Āaljum3aŧ l3aẒīmaŧ
الجُمْعَة العَظيمَة
*jjum3aŧ l3aZīmeŧ
*الجُّمْعَة العَظيمِة
Holy Saturday (“Saturday of Light”) sabt nnūr
سَبْت النّور
The Day of Resurrection (Easter) 3īd lqiyāmaŧ
عيد القِيامَة
*3īd liĀyāmeŧ
*عيد الِقْيامِة

For Middle Eastern Christians, Easter is a more important holiday than Christmas. The following video, from 2009, shows scenes from various Holy Week and Easter processions in the old city of Damascus:

Video: Easter in Damascus, Syria from Pim Van den Berg on YouTube.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Arabic
Holiday Greetings

3 thoughts on “Easter in Arabic”

  1. As a first generation American Lebanese, it is nice to hear the phrases we learned while growing up, so we can pass it on to our children and grandchildren to.

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