Italian language: Happy as an Easter!
- WTI Magazine #150 Apr 23, 2022
This month we’ve celebrated Easter, so I couldn’t help but to talk about it! Of course, I’ll give you a linguistic interpretation, so this month we’ll talk about Easter in the Italian language. Let’s take a look.
After what feels like a very long quaresima, “Lent,” full of sacrifices and penitence, Pasqua, “Easter,” finally comes and brings a lot of food and fun. First of all we must clarify that in Italian we have two types of Easter: Pasqua, which is Easter day, and Pasquetta – little Easter – which is Easter Monday.
They are both pretty important celebrations and people are off both days. While it is common to say Buona Pasqua – Happy Ester – it is not common to wish a happy Pasquetta; what you’ll hear the most is: Cosa facciamo a Pasquetta? What are we doing for Easter Monday? The most common thing is in fact going out on a small getaway, just for the day, to some place not too far from home. This specific trip in Italy is called gita fuori porta, literally a” short trip right outside the door.” Another important word to know is, of course, related to food: colomba pasquale, literally “the Easter dove”, the traditional Easter dessert, which is a dove-shaped sweet bread covered in almonds. And how can I not mention the uovo di Pasqua – the Easter egg – which is not the same as an American Easter egg, but a huge chocolate egg with a small toy inside.
But let’s look at some expressions. The first one is a saying that is used only twice a year: Natale con I tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi. This saying means that you must spend Christmas with your family and relatives, but you are free to spend Easter with whoever you want. That’s why many people actually go on a trip during this break or, es an extension, spend Ester Monday with friends on a gita fuori porta or having a grigliata, a cookout. Venire la Pasqua in Domenica – “Easter falls on a Sunday” – is used about something that happens at the right moment, because you know Easter always perfectly falls on a Sunday. What a coincidence…right? And as I said at the beginning Lent always feels way too long, therefore why not say that someone is lungo come una Quaresima – as long as Lent? Precisely, you can say this about a person who is either boring, or insistent, or takes too long to get to the point, or just takes too long in general. Dare la mala Pasqua − “to give a bad Easter” – means to be a party pooper or to bring ill omen. But Easter can also be good, in fact, if you are as happy as an Ester – felice come una Pasqua – you’ve reached the highest peak of happiness possible.
And you? Did you spend Pasqua with your friends or with your family? Did you go on a gita fuori porta? No matter what you did, I hope you’ve spent the break as happy as an Ester.