Easter is 2019’s first major Christian holiday, celebrating Christ’s resurrection. This year people will gather on Good Friday and Easter Sunday with hot-cross buns, chocolate Easter eggs, a lamb roast and a day of prayer. However Easter is not the same every year, and in 2019 the holiday is falling late. This is because of an ancient religious tradition which dictates the date Christ rose from the grave.
Why is Easter on a different date every year?
Easter falls after the Paschal Moon – the first Full Moon following the spring equinox.
This is because Easter celebrates the death and resurrection of Christ, which happened after the Jewish festival of Passover.
Passover – known as Paschal in Aramaic – begins on the first Full Moon after the equinox on March 21, and Easter is the first Sunday after this.
If the Full Moon fell on a Sunday, the date for Easter would be postponed for one week to the following Sunday.
The spring equinox fell on March 21 this year, and the first Full Moon is on April 19 – Good Friday.
This places Easter Sunday on April 21, and the earliest date the holiday can take place on is March 22.
This is only if the Full Moon took place on March 21, which happened to be a Friday.
The latest Easter could ever be is April 25.
These extremes both happened fairly recently, as in 2008 Easter was unusually early, and in 2011 it was unusually late.
According to fact checkers at Snopes.com, this won’t happen again for hundreds of years.
In 2008, Easter fell on March 23, the earliest since 1913.
This won’t happen again until 2160 and after then the year 2228.
Seeing Easter land a day earlier than this is an impossible feat for anyone alive today.
Before 2008, the last time Easter fell on March 22 was in 1818, and it won’t happen again until the year 2285.
The latest Easter is much more achievable to see, as, before 2011, it was in 1943, and it will next happen in 2038.