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How To Determine The Calculation Of The Easter Date
Easter is an important date in the calendar of religious activities. What makes the Easter date different from the other holidays such as Christmas is that its date is not fixed. The Easter date is not the same each year but what stays the same is that it always falls on a Sunday which is why the specific date does not stay the same.
The Easter date may change each year but the date usually falls somewhere between the 22nd of March and the 25th of April. There are several factors that help determine when the Easter date will occur in each year.
Ways To Determine The Date Of Easter
The Easter date occurs on a Sunday, after Lent which is a period of fasting, penance and prayer that lasts for 40 days. The Easter date or the Easter Sunday, happens at the end of the Holy Week. After the Easter date, comes the Easter season which lasts for 50 days. At the end of the Easter season is the Pentecost Sunday.
Easter usually occurs on the Sunday coming after the full moon following vernal equinox of the northern hemisphere. The equinox is the time of the year when the sun is right over the equator of the Earth. There are two times in a year that the equinox occurs in the northern hemisphere.
The first equinox occurs during the spring season and is called the vernal equinox. The second equinox occurs in the autumn season and is called the autumnal equinox.
Vernal equinox usually occurs in the month of March which is why it is also called the March equinox. The occurrence of vernal equinox determines when the Easter date will also occur. If the full moon and vernal equinox both fall on the same day then the Easter date will fall on the second full moon after the vernal equinox.
Different Calendar Versions
Western and eastern Christianity use different calendars as a basis to determine the Easter date. The western Christianity uses the Gregory calendar as the basis for determining the Easter date. The Gregory calendar is the standard form of calendar used all over the world.
The Eastern Christianity uses the Julian calendar as the basis for determining when the Easter date will occur. The two forms of calendars used by the Eastern and Western Christianity has a difference of about 11 minutes but as the days go by the difference also begins to lengthen. Because of this, the Easter date falls somewhere between the 4th of April and the 8th of May.
Cycles Of The Moon
The cycles of the moon is an important factor in determining when the Easter date will occur. The Easter date will greatly depend on the position of the moon and the sun relative to that of the Earth. This position is also dependent on the rotation or the cycle of the moon. A full cycle of the moon takes about 27.5 days before completion.