Today is Good Friday according to the Orthodox calendar, and hence part of paste. Paste is the Romanian word for Easter. I don't know if today is referred to as "Good" Friday by Romanians, or something else, as all I have seen is various invocations to enjoy my paste. Obviously paste (or Húsvét as it's known in Hungarian) was last week here, so it's one of those odd days which may or may not be a holiday. Anyway, I'd like to wish all my Romanian readers a happy Paste.
I was intrigued to find out the etymology of the word Húsvét, but have so far drawn a blank. My interest lies in the fact that the first syllable Hús is the Hungarian word for meat, and I wondered if Húsvét was a kind of celebration of the end of Lent, which would have amused me a lot, since I've noticed that the beginning of lent is often marked by massive blowouts which doesn't seem to fit in with the whole spirituality of the thing. However, I can't find out what Húsvét might mean. It did lead me into a discovery that "easter" is derived from the same root as "oestrogen", though, which I found vaguely interesting (it's all about springtime and fertility y'see). Paste, like similar words in various other Latin-based languages is taken from Passover, which at least makes sense.
Someone the other day asked me which European countries were orthodox, which, by a convoluted mental process led me to a realisation that all European countries which don't use the Latin alphabet are Orthodox Christian, and all the ones that do are not. With only one exception to this rule - Romania. Fascinating huh? (Well, it's actually two because there's Moldova too, but that's just decaffeinated Romania, so it doesn't really ruin this enthralling piece of information). Feel free to use this factoid down the pub next time you have a gap to fill in the conversation. I won't ask for any money.
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