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Old April 07, 2012, 09:15 PM
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Pascuas

Could someone please explain to me the meaning of Pascuas? I've always thought it meant Easter, but I've also seen it used in reference to Christmas. By the way, I lived in Spain for 5 years and was never sure about it even then, but of course I was young and stupid at that time. Now that I'm almost 70 I've decided it's time to figure this out. Better late than never as they say. Can anyone explain this for me?

Thank you!
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Old April 07, 2012, 09:38 PM
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Easter, Christmas, Passover
(regional usages)

According to the DRAE, pascua has four meanings:

1. The day the Hebrews were freed from Egyptian bondage (Passover).
2. The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
3. Any one of these celebrations: the birth of Jesus Christ, the visit of the Wisemen and the day of Pentecost.
4. The time period from the birth of the Savior until the visit of the Wisemen.
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Old April 08, 2012, 08:19 AM
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In Chile:

Pascuas de Pentecostés = Easter

Pascuas = Christmas

People say Felices Pascuas on both occasions, the difference is in the month/time it is said.

I wouldn't be surprised if they were using "Happy Easter" in Chile now.
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Old April 08, 2012, 10:41 PM
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I have heard Pascua Florida for Easter, and Pascua Judía for Passover, but also Pásaj.
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Old April 09, 2012, 04:16 PM
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While I agree with all the above, the definitions given in the DUE (Diccionario de Uso del Español) by María Moliner, may help you further to get these meanings differentiated.
Quote:
Pascua del Espíritu Santo. *Pascua de Pentecostés.
P. florida. *Pascua de Resurrección.
Pascua[s] de Navidad. **Navidad.
P. de Pentecostés. **Pentecostés. - Pascua del Espíritu Santo.
P. de Resurrección. *Fiesta en que se conmemora la resurrección de Jesucristo; se celebra el domingo siguiente al primer plenilunio de después del 20 de marzo y oscila entre el 22 de marzo y el 25 de abril.
Unquote

So, in a few words,

Christmas – Pascua(s) de Navidad

Easter – Pascua de Resurrección

Whitsunday – Pascua de Pentecostés

(Whit·sun·day the seventh Sunday after Easter, celebrated as a festival in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.)

I hope that helps!
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