How do you say “Happy Passover”?
Jews around the world have come up with diverse Passover greetings, often involving creative blends of Hebrew and local languages. Many of these phrases were originally written in Hebrew letters or other alphabets.
Judeo-French in Bordeaux, France: Bonne fête (good holiday)
Judeo-Provençal in Avignon, France: Bon tsantou (good holiday [yom-tov])
Western Yiddish in Alsace, France: Bauet gut (build well, likely a reference to rebuilding of the Temple because of the song Adir Hu)
Judeo-Georgian in Kutaisi, Georgia: Bednieri pesach-i (happy Passover)
Judeo-Greek in Ioannina, Greece: Kalo pesach/pascha (good Passover)
Judeo-Italian in Rome, Italy: Buon mongedde (good holiday [moed])
Yiddish in Kovno, Lithuania: A zisn un koshern peysech (a sweet and kosher Passover)
Jewish Neo-Aramaic in Betanure, Iraq: Edəd patire brixa (blessed matzot festival)
Ladino in Izmir, Turkey: Men: Moadim lesimhá [times of happiness; Reply: Hagim uzmanim lesasón - holidays and times of joy]; Women: Pesach alegre (happy Passover)
Judeo-Arabic in Taroudant, Morocco: Ikun ʕlik ǝl-ʕid mḅɑṛk (blessed holiday to you)
Judeo-Tat/Juhuri in Quba, Azerbaijan: Nisonushmu shor giro (may your Passover [Nissan] pass happily)
Judeo-Persian in Tehran, Iran: Moedetun mubarak bashe (have a happy holiday [moed])
Jewish Malayalam in Parur, India: Nalle pesahә pernal (happy Passover)
Jewish Amharic in Gondar, Ethiopia: Melkam yeqita be’al (fine holiday of unleavened bread)
For more on diverse Jewish Passover traditions, see:
Abadi, Jennifer Felicia. 2018. Too Good to Passover: Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe. Jennifer Abadi.
Lowenstein, Steven. 2000. The Jewish Cultural Tapestry: International Jewish Folk Traditions. Oxford.
Raphael, Chaim. 1993. A Feast of History: The Drama of Passover through the Ages. Reprint edition. Bnai Brith.
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