Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Early This Year? How The Date Is Determined

Does Easter seem early this year?
It does to me.
So, how is the date for Easter determined?
Easter is calculated via the Easter dating method devised by Pope Gregory XIII and his astonomers and mathmeticians.
According to the Gregorian calendar Easter is always one of the 35 dates between March 22 and April 25. The canonical rule is that Easter Day is the first Sunday after the 14th day of the lunar month (the nominal full moon) that falls on or after March 21 (nominally the day of the vernal equinox). So, this year Easter comes 11 days after the beginning of spring.
Next year Easter will fall on April 20 which presumably will seem more normal. And in 2015 Easter will fall on April 5.
One would expect that it would be a chilly Easter this year. And the week leading up to Easter has been chilly.
But we actually remember balmy Easters in March and chilly Easters in April. And there have even been years when it has snowed on Easter Sunday.
Why is the date of Christmas fixed while the date of Easter changes each year? That's a question for another time.

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