Easter Day is, quite literally, a moveable feast! The date changes every year and this is because, traditionally, as the greatest celebration in the Christian calendar marking the resurrection of Christ, it is always celebrated on a date based on the moon cycles. Falling on the first Sunday after the first full moon in the northern hemisphere’s springtime, this is also known as the vernal equinox.
Easter dates vary between the Western world, which uses the Gregorian calendar, and places like Greece which use the Julian calendar for Orthodox feast days. It falls at the end of the 40 days of Lent and is always the Sunday after Good Friday, which commemorates the death of Christ.
The Council of Nicaea in AD 325 set the official date of Easter as the first Sunday after the paschal full moon. This date should coincide with the same date, in history, when Jesus was resurrected. However, since the vernal equinox can fall on different dates depending upon your time zone, the church set the official date of the equinox as 21st March, regardless of the year. The next full moon after the equinox is the paschal full moon and Easter falls the first Sunday after that full moon. Since the first full moon after the equinox changes each year, the date for Easter also changes. As a result, the Easter holidays fall on different days every year!
Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, is the day before Ash Wednesday. As this is the last day before the fast, it is seen as a day of feasting. Pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday as families would make them up from all the ingredients that would go to waste over Lent.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and is named after the Christian practice of putting ashes on the foreheads of Christians to symbolise the death of Jesus Christ.
Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter and is supposed to be a period of fasting, reflection and preparation for Easter.
Christians celebrate the beginning of Easter with Palm Sunday, the week prior to Easter Sunday, also known as Holy Week.
Good Friday is the day Christ was crucified and died on the cross. It marks his death, with the day for celebration as Easter Sunday, when Christ rose from the dead. That is why Easter Sunday is the traditional day to give Easter Eggs, serving as the symbol of new life!
So, here’s to that hope of a new beginning, everyone, all over the world, whatever your faith, whatever your culture, whatever your beliefs and whatever your lives have in store for you……here’s to all of us and all our loved ones, both near and far….to peace and happiness this Easter holiday – may it be filled with a zest for life in the true spirit of love and laughter.
From Inspirational Winners to everyone and everything, to all life, both terrain and alien:
Live Long & Prosper!