Easter is one of the earliest and most important feast celebrated by Christians all over the world but the date for the feast varies each year.
The feast is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead three days after he was crucified by the Jews and the Roman Empire. Unlike Christmas, the date for the feast changes every year.
Conventionally, the date will be announced by the Pope (Head of the Roman Catholic Church), but the feast is celebrated in Spring.
How Is The Date Determined?
Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified on or near the day of Passover and in three days (the day of crucifixion included) which falls on a Sunday, he resurrected from the dead.
The feast is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Full Moon date which according to the Church’s Paschal Full Moon should fall on March 21 whether it is scientifically correct or not (Note: the full moon in Spring occurs between March 19 to March 22 depending on the time zone).
The Paschal Full Moon is based on Metonic Cycle, a Mathematicall approximation of 19-year cycle ranging from March 21 to April 18. Since Easter is celebrated on a Sunday, it can fall on March 22 to April 25, the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon.
This means the feast can be celebrated every early or very late. For instance, Easter was celebrated on March 22 in 1818 and the latest date for the celebration will fall on April 25 2038.
In 2021, Easter will fall on April 4, a little earlier than this year’s and for the next three years, it will be celebrated in the month of April.
But if the First Full Moon falls on a Sunday the celebration is done on the following Sunday.
The Church uses the Paschal Full Moon to calculate the Easter Day celebration due to the conflicting days it faced the early century due to the fact she wanted to make the day independent of the Hebrew Passover or the celebration should fall on Sunday which is the day of the Lord’s resurrection.