When is Easter in 2020? Do you know? I bet you don’t. The Easter holidays usually provoke excitement, due to the anticipation of children desperate for time off school and workers taking advantage of the year’s longest weekend. However, with the coronavirus pandemic in the UK closing schools and destroying travel plans, the 2020 bank holidays have taken on a different feel.
When is Easter in 2020
The date of Easter changes from year to year. This means that even in ordinary circumstances the holidays can sneak up on you. Here’s when it falls in 2020, and how the process of calculating Easter Sunday’s date works.
In 2020, Easter Sunday falls on Sunday 12th of April, slightly earlier than the date in 2020 which was 21st of April – the latest in eight years. For most, this should fall in the middle weekend of the school break, unlike in 2020 when many children had to go back to school immediately following Easter Monday.
How to Work Out 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. In 2021, the equinox will take place on its usual date which is the 20th of March, with the next full moon on the 19th of April. This is the Friday before Easter Sunday. 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 Easter Is On Different Date Each Year
The predominant reason why Easter falls on a different date each year is because we now use the solar. The Gregorian calendar rather than a lunar one. This means the full moon occurs on different dates each year and therefore so does Easter.
Dr. Greg Brown, 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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