Why Does the Easter Date Change?

Why the Dates for Easter Change Each Year?

Easter Date ChangeHave you ever wondered why the celebration date for Easter changes each year?  I think everyone asks that question at some point.  After all, most other holidays have set dates year after year.  Please allow me to provide that explanation and the history behind the ever changing date of Easter.

Simply stated, Easter is the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox (day & night are equal lengths) and that date is different every year.

However, there is historical reason for why the moon would affect the date for an Easter celebration.


The History Behind the Easter Date Selection

Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ who was crucified around the time of the Jewish Passover.  Therefore, we must look at the Hebrew calendar to understand the history of the specific date of celebration.

Since the beginning of each new month on the Hebrew calendar starts with the new moon, the full moon will hit around the middle of the month.  The Passover is celebrated on the 14th day of Nisan at the time of the full moon.  Nisan usually falls in March or April on the Gregorian calendar which is the most widely accepted civil calendar.

The Christian calendar (Gregorian calendar) sets the date for Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal or spring equinox (the time day and night are of equal length).   The vernal equinox and the 14th day of Nisan usually coincide, which means Christians normally celebrate Easter the Sunday after the Jewish Passover.   This does vary though due to the Hebrew calendar leap years.

Looking at the two calendars we can better grasp the history behind the chosen celebration dates, but the current day Easter date selection is completely based on the spring equinox.


Make Your Own Easter Calendar

I found this really adorable calendar pattern on Etsy so we can all make our own Easter calendars for a countdown to Easter each year.  Having an advent calendar for Easter helps us remember the right date of Easter for each year.

Easter Advent Calendar Pattern
EASTER Advent Calendar PATTERN • 15 Ornaments based on Passion Week • Easter Craft • PATTERN •