Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easter

Why is Easter so early this year?
The date of this coming Easter is quite early this year (March 23). Below is some interesting information as to why.
Unlike many others holidays on our western calendar which are celebrated on a specific date or on an easily calculated day - like Christmas on December 25 or Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November (that is, until Congress changes those dates too!) - Easter moves around from year to year to preserve its relationship to certain astrological phenomena. Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, occurred on the Sunday following Passover. Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is usually March 20, sometimes March 21). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that the Hebrew people use to identify Passover. This is why it moves around on our Roman calendar. The earliest that Easter can occur is March 22, and the latest is April 25.
This year is the earliest Easter any of us will see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have only ever seen it this early once before (see below). And none of us have ever seen or will ever see it a day earlier (March 22).
Here are the facts:
1. The next time Easter will be this early will be the year 2160 (152 years from now). The last time it was this early (March 23) was 1913. So if you’re 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that, and probably don’t even remember it!
2. The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, obviously no one alive today has seen it that early, and barring some major breakthrough in longevity, no one currently alive will ever see Easter any earlier than this year!
3. The odds are greater for those now living to have seen or to see Easter on its latest date possible date (April 25) since it happened in 1943 and will happen again in 2038. Since I’d be pushing 90 in 2038, I hope I am “with it” to know what’s going on around me! Who knows, I may be hiding my own Easter eggs by then!
If you’re interested in reading about the date of Easter and seeing the date in any particular year from 1700 to 2299, you can go to this link http://www.assa.org.au/edm.html It’s a long page with lots of information.
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2 comments:

ceekay said...

Who knew? I just thought it was early to be early!

Stephens said...

Did you get that from Kris? He just read it to me the other day. :-)