Passover is a widely celebrated Jewish holiday commemorating the exodus of the Jewish slaves from Egypt. Passover is the English name for the holiday, so it is not the original name of the holiday. The original name of the holiday of Passover is the Hebrew name Pesach. Therefore, Passover and Pesach are the same holiday.
When reading the Torah, you will find that in the Book of Exodus (12:23), the holiday is called Pesach. The exact translation of that word is unclear to us today. One of the most common definitions of “Pesach” is “He passed over,” which is where we get the holiday’s name of “Passover” that is used in English. It is called this because when G-d sent the tenth and final plague, the death of the firstborn, against the Egyptians, He “passed over” the houses of the Jews.
Pesach, or Passover, has other traditional names, too. One of these is Chag he-Aviv, which means the Spring Festival. This is because Pesach celebrates the beginning of the harvest season in Israel. Although this is not the most important meaning of the holiday, it is significant, as the special Pesach sacrifices include the first sheaf of newly cut barley. Only after this sacrifice has been made on the second day of Pesach can the harvest begin.
Another name for Pesach/Passover is Chag ha-Matzohs, or the Festival of Matzohs. On other holidays, there may be special foods, but Pesach is the only holiday where one has a mitzvah to eat a specific food (matzoh, a type of unleavened bread). Matzoh’s role in the Passover celebration is so vital that the holiday is even named after it! Whether it is a commemoration of the speed with which the Jews fled Egypt, a symbol of freedom, a metaphor for living our lives without the “leavening” of our egos, or a reminder of the Jews’ afflictions in Egypt, that it is a vital and significant part of the holiday cannot be overlooked.
Finally, Pesach/Passover is also known as Zeman Herutenu, which means the Time of Our Freedom. This name for the holiday clearly focuses on commemorating and celebrating that G-d freed the Jewish people from their Egyptian slave masters. The importance of freedom, especially the freedom to observe the Jewish faith or to be Jewish, is a central theme in many Jewish holidays, such as Hanukkah and Purim, but in none is it so blatantly obvious in its importance as it is in Passover.
So it turns out that Passover and Pesach are the same holiday, just named in different languages. But that’s not all – Passover and Pesach are also the same as Chag he-Aviv, Chag ha-Matzohs, and Zeman Herutenu. So if you ever hear someone mention one of these names, or a friend of yours begins talking about a holiday called Pesach, you will know that it is the same exact holiday as Passover!