Easter Day

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Easter(Old English Ēostre; Latin: Pascha; Greek Πάσχα Paskha, the latter two derived from Hebrew: פֶּסַח‎ Pesaḥ) is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament.Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Date:
Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts, in that they do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars (both of which follow the cycle of the sun and the seasons). Instead, the date for Easter is determined on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on 21 March (even though the equinox occurs, astronomically speaking, on 20 March in most years), and the “full moon” is not necessarily the astronomically correct date.

In Western Christianity, using the Gregorian calendar, Easter always falls on a Sunday between 22 March and 25 April inclusive, within about seven days after the astronomical full moon.The following day, Easter Monday, is a legal holiday in many countries with predominantly Christian traditions.

Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar. Because of the 13-day difference between the calendars between 1900 and 2099, 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian Calendar. Easter therefore varies between 4 April and 8 May on the Gregorian calendar (the Julian calendar is no longer used as the civil calendar of the countries where Eastern Christian traditions predominate). Also, because the Julian “full moon” is always several days after the astronomical full moon, the eastern Easter is often later, relative to the visible moon’s phases, than western Easter.

Among the Oriental Orthodox some churches have changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar and the date for Easter as for other fixed and moveable feasts is the same as in the Western church.

Reform of the date:
In the 20th century, some individuals and institutions have propounded a fixed date for Easter, the most prominent proposal being the Sunday after the second Saturday in April. Despite having some support, proposals to reform the date have not been implemented.[68] An Orthodox congress of Eastern Orthodox bishops, which included representatives mostly from the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Patriarch of Serbia, met in Constantinople in 1923, where the bishops agreed to the Revised Julian calendar.

The original form of this calendar would have determined Easter using precise astronomical calculations based on the meridian of Jerusalem.However, all the Eastern Orthodox countries that subsequently adopted the Revised Julian calendar adopted only that part of the revised calendar that applied to festivals falling on fixed dates in the Julian calendar. The revised Easter computation that had been part of the original 1923 agreement was never permanently implemented in any Orthodox diocese.

In the United Kingdom, the Easter Act 1928 set out legislation to allow the date of Easter to be fixed as the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April (or, in other words, the Sunday in the period from 9 to 15 April). However, the legislation has not been implemented, although it remains on the Statute book and could be implemented subject to approval by the various Christian churches.

At a summit in Aleppo, Syria, in 1997, the World Council of Churches (WCC) proposed a reform in the calculation of Easter which would have replaced the present divergent practices of calculating Easter with modern scientific knowledge taking into account actual astronomical instances of the spring equinox and full moon based on the meridian of Jerusalem, while also following the Council of Nicea position of Easter being on the Sunday following the full moon.The recommended World Council of Churches changes would have sidestepped the calendar issues and eliminated the difference in date between the Eastern and Western churches. The reform was proposed for implementation starting in 2001, but it was not ultimately adopted by any member body.

Table of the dates of Easter:

The WCC presented comparative data of the relationships:

Table of dates of Easter 2001–2021
(In Gregorian dates)
Year Spring
Full Moon
Astronomical
Easter
Gregorian
Easter
Julian
Easter
Jewish
Passover
2001 Easter 8 April 15 April 15 April 15 April 8 April
2002 Easter 28 March 31 March 31 March 5 May 28 March
2003 Easter 16 April 20 April 20 April 27 April 17 April
2004 Easter 5 April 11 April 11 April 11 April 6 April
2005 Easter 25 March 27 March 27 March 1 May 24 April
2006 Easter 13 April 16 April 16 April 23 April 13 April
2007 Easter 2 April 8 April 8 April 8 April 3 April
2008 Easter 21 March 23 March 23 March 27 April 20 April
2009 Easter 9 April 12 April 12 April 19 April 9 April
2010 Easter 30 March 4 April 4 April 4 April 30 March
2011 Easter 18 April 24 April 24 April 24 April 19 April
2012 Easter 6 April 8 April 8 April 15 April 7 April
2013 Easter 27 March 31 March 31 March 5 May 26 March
2014 Easter 15 April 20 April 20 April 20 April 15 April
2015 Easter 4 April 5 April 5 April 12 April 4 April
2016 Easter 23 March 27 March 27 March 1 May 23 April
2017 Easter 11 April 16 April 16 April 16 April 11 April
2018 Easter 31 March 1 April 1 April 8 April 31 March
2019 Easter 21 March 24 March 21 April 28 April 20 April
2020 Easter 8 April 12 April 12 April 19 April 9 April
2021 Easter 28 March 4 April 4 April 2 May 28 March

Notes:

1. Astronomical Easter is the first Sunday after the Astronomical full moon, referred to the meridian of Jerusalem.
2. Passover commences at sunset preceding the date indicated.

 

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