Easter’s late

It’s Good Friday, one of the holiest of days in the Christian calendar, though probably just another holiday for many in an increasingly secular country.

But why is it so late this year?

The Bible doesn’t spell out the exact date that Easter occurs on, but it does say that Jesus was crucified during the Jewish holiday of Passover. According to the Catholic magazine America: The Jesuit Review, in the year 325, the Council of Nicaea decided to celebrate Easter “at the very time of Jesus’ Passion,” the Christian term for the final days of Jesus’ life before his death and resurrection. The Jewish calendar is calculated based on lunar months, so to link Easter with Passover, the Council of Nicaea decided that Easter would be observed “on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox.” Basically, because the moon affects when Passover falls, the moon also affects when Easter falls.

But this year the northern hemisphere equinox and the full moon we’re on March 20th. So why wasn’t Easter last month?

Back in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII made some additional rules about calculating Easter’s date when introducing the Gregorian calendar. According to Space.com, these rules said that Easter would always fall between March 22 and April 25 — and that the Catholic Church would always mark the vernal equinox on March 21, even though the astronomical vernal equinox can be anywhere from March 19 to March 21. This year, the first full moon after March 21 was on April 19, which is a Friday — meaning that this Easter will be on the following Sunday, April 21. . . 

That’s this weekend.

Whether or not you are Christian, May your Easter be a blessed one.

5 Responses to Easter’s late

  1. Andrei says:

    Latin Easter can fall on any date between March 22 and April 25

    Orthodox Easter can fall on dates between April 4 and May 8

    The two dates can coincide, they did last year but they wont coincide again until 2034.

    Orthodox Easter is next week this year.

    Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the Cross.

    He who is King of the angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns.

    He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery.
    He who in Jordan set Adam free receives blows upon His face.

    The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails.

    The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear.

    We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ.

    Show us also Thy glorious Resurrection.

  2. Roj Blake says:

    No one knows when he was born (but we know December 25 is impossible).

    No one knows when he died.

    How the Fuck can anyone still believe this childish nonsense?

  3. Murray Roxburgh says:

    Mr Blake, such great use of language to support your clear disdain for others beliefs.
    I may well share you agnosticism or is it merely atheism but I respect the faith of those who choose to follow Jesus or anyone else.
    I am too often accused of Islamophobia, the truth is somewhat different, Muslims and their faith are no problem and I fully understand the threat often fatal in disagreeing with the doctrines and rules from the leadership, however I am implacably opposed to the abject failure of the world of Islam to move on from the prophets time and the accompanying barbarity to a modern more accepting world. Moves that Christendom has largely embraced but remnant hard line adherence can still be apparent today.

    I readily accept a consensus that Jesus The Jew legends as related in the Biblical texts have a basis in truth, so that said I find your dismissive attitude sad and disrespectful, more so when expressed on a particularly significant day for christians.
    Dates, ‘Phooey’, not a lot of google in those days or Wikipedia either. For all its faults proven or not , Christendom and the Judaism that preceded it, the gospels and the ten commandments are not a bad philosophical basis for modern life, over two thousand years on.

  4. Murray Roxburgh says:

    On a lighter note having had my rant for the day, late Easter dates and the variability ensuing had a serious effect on our family life at the three quarter mark of Last century. In pursuit of our major family activity around equestrian endeavours the McKenzie Highland A&P Show could have its autumnal weather making for unpleasant times grooming, plaiting and general fussing for the judges beginning before the dawn using a Tilly lamp. Cold fingers plaiting and sewing, the results, with cold fingers a challenge.
    Aaagh many happy memories of some great times with friends and families, the cold did not seem such a problem then. These days just getting Tilly to spark up would be problematical

  5. Murray Roxburgh says:

    Two guesses the brave soul who don ticked, nah only one , too easy.

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