Saturday, March 26, 2016

An Early Easter? How The Date Is Determined.

Does Easter seem early this year?
It does to some of us.
So, how is the date for Easter determined?
Easter is calculated via the Easter dating method devised by Pope Gregory XIII and his astronomers and mathematicians.
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 March 27 which presumably will be earlier than normal. And in 2017 Easter will fall on April 16, which seems about right.
One would expect that it would be a relatively 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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