Why Easter is celebrated different days each year? • GlobeScholarships

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Easter day is the day that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus that occurred on the third day after the burial following his crucifixion by the Roman and Sanhedrin’s at Calvary.

The Easter date for this year will be celebrated earlier than 2020’s Easter. Do you know why the dates come different? Why does it have no permanent dates just like other Christian holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s? Why is it not uniform? This is how it comes about.

Whereas Christians are well aware that Easter date is determined by the beginning of Lent season that commences with ASH WEDNESDAY, after 46 days.

Easter will be celebrated on 4th March this year, which is about eight days earlier from last year’s Easter, which was on 12th April 2020 and different from 2019’s Easter that occurred on 21st April.

Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full Moon that occurs on or just after the spring equinox.


Spring Equinox, this is what it is?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox also known by spring equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the equator line, heading north. This event marks the start of spring in the northern half of the globe.

 After this date, the Northern Hemisphere begins to be tilted more toward the Sun, resulting in increasing daylight hours and warming temperatures. This year Spring Equinox was on Saturday March 20th.

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Long ago, the Christian Church decided to simplify the process of calculating Easter’s date by always observing the spring equinox on March 21, despite the fact that the equinox date changes over time.

So in Christian calendars, the first full Moon of spring is called the “Paschal Full Moon”

Paschal Full Moon?

The word “Paschal,” which is used in the ecclesiastical (Christian church) calendar, comes from “Pascha,” a transliteration of the Aramaic word meaning “Passover.”

In reference to the full Moon, Paschal refers to the date of the full Moon determined many years ago as the 14th day of a lunar month. Ancient calculations (made in a.d. 325) did not take into account certain lunar motions.

So, the Paschal Full Moon is the 14th day of a lunar month occurring on or after March 21 according to a fixed set of ecclesiastical calendar rules, which does not always match the date of the astronomical full Moon nearest the astronomical spring equinox.

In 2021, the spring equinox happens on Saturday, March 20. The first full Moon to occur after that date rises on Sunday, March 28. Therefore, Easter will be observed on the subsequent Sunday, which is Sunday, April 4.

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The Paschal Full Moon falls on a recurring sequence of 19 dates ranging from March 21 to April 18, According to the Metonic cycle.  

According to the Bible, Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection occurred at the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first Full Moon following the vernal equinox.

This soon led to Christians celebrating Easter on different dates

Proposed Easter Date Reforms

In 1997, the World Council of Churches proposed a reform of the Easter calculation to replace an equation-based method of calculating Easter with direct astronomical observation.

This would have solved the Easter date difference between churches that observe the Gregorian calendar and those that observe the Julian calendar. The reform was proposed to be implemented in 2001, but it is not yet adopted.

In the United Kingdom, there was a proposal where the Easter Act 1928 was established to allow the Easter date to be fixed as the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April. However, this law was not implemented, although it remains on the UK Statute Law Database.

Since Easter day falls on different days, it also celebrated in different seasons depending on the calendar, though Gregorian calendar has dominated the world.  


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