Learn how to say happy Easter in Italian, how to respond to Easter greetings in Italian and more Italian words to wish a happy easter to Italian friends and acquaintances.
Easter is an important festivity in Italy.
Italy has a strong Catholic heritage and many celebrations and traditions mark this important event in the Christian calendar.
If you find yourself in Italy at Easter, therefore, you may find it helpful to know how to wish someone a Happy Easter in Italian and how to respond if an Italian host of a friend says Happy Easter to you.
In this quick Italian lesson, we look at the Italian word for Easter, how to say happy Easter in Italian, how to respond, and more Italian words and expressions useful in the Easter period.
How to say Happy Easter in Italian
Happy Easter in Italian is Buona Pasqua!
Happy Easter in Italian pronunciation looks a little like this: Boo-oh-Nah Pas-qwah
Pasqua is the Italian word for Easter.
In grammatical terms, it is singular, feminine and wants a capital letter.
Buona is Italian for ‘good’; it is an adjective and therefore, it declines in the feminine form Buon-a, to match feminine Pasqua.
The way you use Buona Pasqua is the same as Happy Easter in English.
You can use it during Easter Week and as greetings on Easter Sunday, in the same guide as you’d use Merry Christmas.
If you want to add someone’s name, you can say Buona Pasqua, Francesca!
Or you can address your Easter wishes to the whole family or anyone present with Buona Pasqua a tutti = Happy easter everyone / Happy Easter to all.
More below, but first: pin this for future reference!
How to respond if someone wishes Buona Pasqua to you
If someone wishes you Buona Pasqua, it is appropriate to respond with one of the following:
Buona Pasqua = Happy Easter
Grazie, Buona Pasqua = thank you, happy easter
Grazie, Buona pasqua anche a te = thank you, happy easter to you too
Grazie, altrettanto = thank you, to you too
Grazie, Auguri Anche a te = thank you, best wishes to you too
How to wish Happy Easter greetings in Italian on a card
If you are wiring an easter card to someone, you can use the same greetings as above or slightly more formal expressions suited to written communication.
Some Easter greetings in Italian you can write on a card are:
Auguri / Tanti / Tantissimi Auguri di Buona Pasqua = Wishes / Many wishes/ Very many wishes for a Happy Easter
Tanti Auguri per una Pasqua Serena = many blessings for a peaceful easter
The most common adjectives for the Italian word Pasqua are Buona (good/happy) and serena (Serene, Peaceful)
More Italian words for Easter
Find here >>> the pronunciation of the names of the weeks in Italian
Domenica delle Palme = Palm Sunday
Seplocri = lit. sepulchers, this is the tradition of going from church to church to pray and meditate on the days immediately before Easter, especially Holy Thursday and Friday
Giovedi’ Santo = Easter Thursday / Holy Thursday
Venerdi’ Santo = Holy Friday
Sabato Santo / Sabato di Pasqua = easter Saturday
Domenica di Pasqua = Easter Sunday / easter
Lunedi’ dell’Angelo / Pasquetta = Angel Monday / Easter Monday Luh-neh-dee dell an-je-loh
Messa di Pasqua = Easter mass
Digiuno = fast / fasting Pron. dee-joo-noh
Uovo di Pasqua / Uova di pasqua = Easter egg / Easter eggs
Uova di zucchero = Sugar eggs
Coniglio Pasquale = Easter Bunny (not an Italian tradition)
Colomba = Koh-lom-bah, lit. ‘dove’, a traditional Italian Easter cake
Torta Pasqualina = easter cake, a type of pie (find torta pasqualina recipe here)
Pastiera Napoletana = a type of Neapolitan cake typical of the easter season
Pranzo di Pasqua = Easter lunch
Mercoledi’ delle Ceneri = Ash Wednesday
Quaresima = Lent
Additional helpful info about Italian Easter
The Vatican and all Christian churches in Italy celebrate Easter with ceremonies over several days during the weeks coming up to Easter Sunday.
These ceremonies happen mostly in churches and you may come across them in your travels.
In some cases, you will only notice specific decorations in churches, while in other cases, you may have extraordinary mass times and processions taking place.
The exact easter traditions change from town to town.
In large cities like Rome, you may not even notice them (except for the Vatican).
In contrast, smaller cities often have maintained more distinctive traditions that may take the forms of processions and gatherings.
Palm Sunday in Italy
Domenica delle Palme is the Sunday before Easter, commemorating the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem.
In Italy, small olive branches or palms are blessed distributed during mass: you may see the faithful coming out of the church with them.
Holy Thursday Traditions in Italy
A fascinating tradition you may encounter as you explore churches is putting sprouted grain near the altar.
The grain is a powerful symbol in Christianity: it symbolizes life after death (the death of the seed that gives birth to the plant) and Christ’s resurrection.
During the weeks coming up to Easter, churches give the faithful seeds of grain and instructions to grow them in the dark (under a bed or in a cupboard is the most common way).
In the darkness, the seeds sprout and come to life with a distinctive pale color due to the lack of light: they symbolize the triumph of life over death, the darkness symbolizing christ’s grave and the birth in darkness his resurrection.
Then, on Easter Thursday, the faithful bring them to church and use them to decorate the altars.
Holy Friday Traditions in Italy
Observant Christians fast on Holy Friday or opt for a fish-based / meat-free meals.
Some restaurants may adopt a meat-free menu or option on this day. however, you will not have difficulties finding a meal in Italy on Holy Friday as the fasting tradition is, if respected, a personal one.
The Pope holds Via Crucis on Friday evening, traditionally in Rome city center but, lately, in the Vatican.
Easter Sunday in Italy starts with the sound of bells, tolling for the first time after lent.
On this day, the Pope holds mass in the Vatican and faithful usually go to mass to their local church.
Most people, religoius or not, have a gathering for Easter lunch with family or friends.
Easter is not as family-oriented as Christmas in Italy: as one of the most popular Italian Easter sayings goes ‘Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi‘ aka Christmas with family, Easter with whoever you want!
On Easter Sunday, Italian kids get chocolate eggs.
This tradition is not originally Italian and it doesn’t come with egg painting or Easter egg hunts; however, these are now becoming increasingly popular and Easter events for kids are common.
Restaurants and most attractions (not all) are open on Easter Sunday.
Easter Monday in Italy
Easter Monday in Italian is called Lunedi’ dell’Angelo (Angel Monday), Lunedi’ di Pasquetta or simply Pasquetta (pron. Pas-qweht-tah).
This is a day off for Italians and a traditional day for excursions.
Most (not all) attractions and restaurants are open: just be conscious of traffic on this day if driving in / out of cities as roads tend to be very busy.
I hope you enjoyed this quick lesson about Italian easter greetings and it helped you answer the question: how do you say happy Easter in Italian?