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Why Does The Date For Easter Change Every Year?

The date for Easter changes every year, why is that? July the Fourth is always on the Fourth of July, Christmas is always December 25th and St. Patrick’s Day is always the 17th of March.

How come Easter gets the wiggle room?

 

As you might imagine the date for Easter and when it is celebrated has a lot to do with ancient religious celebrations. The early church fathers wanted to keep Easter in close correlation to the Jewish Passover.  Because the Jewish calendar was based on solar and lunar cycles, the date was moveable.

In today’s modern Christianity, the celebration of Easter is based on the Paschal Full Moon. That is the first full moon following the Vernal Equinox or first day of spring. Ancient astronomers calculated these dates and eventually the idea became tradition that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox.

As you might imagine we have simplified the answer in this narrative.  For a more detailed explanation of why the date for Easter changes you can click here.

In case you are wondering the first full moon following the first day of Spring this year is tomorrow night. Therefore this Sunday we will celebrate Easter.

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