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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
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Why is Easter So Late this Year?

Why is Easter So Late this Year?

Have you gotten the feeling that Easter is really late this year? If so, it’s not just you. This year, Easter falls on April 24, the latest it has been celebrated since 1943, when it fell on April 25.

The last time Easter was celebrated on April 24 was more than 150 years ago, in 1859, and it won’t fall on that date again until 2095. Between now and then, we’ll see an April 25th Easter in 2038.

What’s going on, here? Easter and the many church holidays related to it — such as Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday — are called “moveable feasts,” because they don’t fall on a fixed date on the Gregorian calendar, which follows the cycle of the sun and the seasons. Instead, these days follow a lunisolar calendar, similar to Jewish holidays.

According to a Fourth Century ruling, the date of Easter is set for on the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, which is the first Full Moon of Spring, occurring on or shortly after the Vernal Equinox. March 22 is the earliest Easter can occur on any given year, and April 25 is the latest.

A few years ago, in 2008, Easter fell on March 23, its earliest date since 1913. Easter will not be that early again until the year 2228.

6 comments

1 Ronda { 04.24.11 at 11:29 pm }

Thanks Jeanie for reminding me of the date Easter fell in 1984, people are amazed when I tell them my daughter was over a year old before she had her first Easter. Her birth date is April 18, 1983 so Easter had already happened in 83 before she was borned then she had her first birthday before Easter fell in 84.

2 Penny { 04.22.11 at 5:48 pm }

Many mainstream/Christian holidays are aligned with holidays from the old religion, either in date or symbolism; Easter is the most obvious of these. At Christmas virtually every symbol was hijacked. All this was done to make it easier to convert people. In particular, the Catholic flavor of Christianity is VERY close to the Wiccan/Pagan faith.

3 Jeanie Perkins { 04.22.11 at 3:51 pm }

my youngest son was born on the 23rd of 1984 the day after Easter that year Easter was on the 22nd that year held the record until this year!

4 Deb { 04.21.11 at 8:52 pm }

I always share this interesting facts with friends and family usually printed and tucked in a card.

5 crazy4years { 04.20.11 at 9:57 pm }

Fascinating. I knew the pagan holiday was usurped with religious aspects, as are many, but didn’t realize the “church” had maintained any of the lunar calendar settings for any of the “holy” days!

6 Judy { 04.20.11 at 12:07 pm }

Another great article!

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