THE Easter holiday dates change each year, so it is important to keep track – especially as careful diary planning can often secure you extra time away from the office.
While the dates for Christmas and Valentine’s Day are fixed and easy to remember, Easter and the associated Bank holidays can fall anytime between March 22 and April 25.
When is Easter 2018 and how is the date decided?
This year Easter takes place from Good Friday on March 30 until Easter Monday on April 2 – making Easter Sunday fall on April 1, which is also April Fool’s day.
The death of Jesus occurred around the Jewish Passover, which is traditionally held on first full moon following the vernal equinox.
As the full moon can vary in each time zone, the Church said that they would use the 14th day of the lunar month instead – the Paschal Full Moon – and host Easter Day on the following Sunday.
Christians celebrate Easter on a Sunday as it was the day Jesus rose from the dead, following being crucified on a Friday two days before.
Centuries ago in 325, it was determined by a council of Christian bishops that Easter Day would always be on a Sunday to commemorate the happy occasion.
Once the date of the moon is known, Easter Day and the Easter holidays can be determined.
Why does the date of Easter change each year?
In Western Christianity, Easter Sunday must always fall on the next full moon after Spring Equinox.
Easter can fall as early as March and as late as April or May, depending on the year and calendar used.
Christians in the east who use the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar may have a different date.
The date of Easter changes because the full moon can fall on different days in different time zones.