(NEXSTAR) – Have you ever noticed that Easter never seems to fall on the same day? Christmas is always on December 25th and Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May. But you must always check the calendar for Easter. Why?
Easter, in case you don’t know it, is a Christian festival that marks the resurrection of Jesus. It always falls on a Sunday in March or April. To understand why, you have to look up at the sky.
“The date of Easter is determined by the moon. Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox,” said Kim Mandelkow, director of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Worship Office.
This year, for example, the first full moon after the vernal equinox (aka the first day of spring, which is March 20) is on Saturday, April 16. Easter Sunday is the next day.
“The moon is not regular,” says Father Martin Schlag, Professor and Chair of Catholic Social Thinking at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota, explained. “It doesn’t follow the solar calendar, but it does have its own lunar calendar, which varies every year.”
If the first full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter Sunday is pushed back by a week, explains Mandelkow.
Since Easter depends on the vernal equinox, it can be anywhere between March 22nd and April 25th. However, having Easter on one of these days is relatively rare US Census Bureau data. An Easter year is more likely to fall on March 31st or April 16th, which occupy most of the holidays.
Next year we have an earlier Easter: April 9th.
https://www.wavy.com/living-local/holidays/when-is-easter-this-year-and-why-is-it-always-on-a-different-sunday/ When is Easter this year and why is it always on a different Sunday?