Easter Day 2021 – Why is Easter Different Every Year | How to Calculate When Easter will be

Speaking of Easter Day 2021, in 2020, the Easter holidays were drastically changed by the coronavirus outbreak, which shuts schools and works well ahead of schedule and ruined holidaymakers’ carefully-laid travel plans. It left families frustrated by lockdown looking ahead to the 2021 holidays when restrictions would hopefully no longer be in place.

Easter Day 2021

However, the following year dawned with COVID cases rising around the world and the introduction of new nationwide lockdown measures which again threw the holiday period into doubt. But it should be of note that in 2021, Easter Sunday falls on Sunday, 4th of April, just over a week earlier than last year’s date of 12th of April.

Easter Day 2021

In keeping with the COVID guidelines as regards to Easter day 2021 celebration, most social distancing measures will still be in place over the Easter holidays. However, you will be allowed to socialize with somebody from another household outdoors

How to Calculate When Easter will be

The date of Easter is calculated from the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring equinox in March. The decision on how and when Easter should fall each year was made by the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, the first major church council.

As the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus happened after Passover, some early Christians decided to celebrate it then – on the 14th of the month of Nisan (from the Assyrian and Hebrew calendars). This correlates with March or April in the Gregorian calendar (named after Pope Gregory XIII), which is what we use today. The Council of Nicaea was asked to resolve this. It decided Easter should be after the first full moon following the March equinox.

Why is Easter Different Every Year

The major reason why Easter falls on a different date each year is that we now use the solar, Gregorian calendar rather than a lunar one. This means the full moon occurs on different dates each year, and therefore so does Easter. Easter last took place on the same day last year for both Christian Churches in 2017, but this will not happen again until 2034.

Dr. Greg Brown, the astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said Easter is based on a combination of the seven-day week and the cycle of the phases of the Moon. The March equinox is the date when the sun crosses from the southern hemisphere of the sky to the northern hemisphere marking the beginning of spring.

The day and night of the equinox are of approximately equal length. As neither the calendar year (365 days) nor the cycle of the phases of the Moon (29.5 days) divide evenly by the seven-day week, the date of Easter Sunday can move irregularly by up to a month, from between late March and late April.

The reason why different churches celebrate Easter on different days is down to using different calendars. Eastern Churches (Greek and Slavic) and Oriental Churches (Syrian, Armenian, Coptic Egyptian, and Ethiopian) continued using the Julian Calendar, named after Julius Caesar, even after Europe adopted the Gregorian Calendar in the year, 1582.

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