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How is the date determined each year? An Easter Sunday date in the calendar.
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Easter is a movable feast, so it falls on a different date each year. Easter falls on the first Sunday after the Full Moon datebased on mathematical calculations, that falls on or after March Although Easter is liturgically related to the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere March equinox and the Full Moonits date is not based on the actual astronomical date of either event.
March 21 is the Church's date of the March equinox, regardless of the time zonewhile the actual date of the equinox varies between March 19 and March 22, and the date depends on the time zone.
The date of the Paschal Full Moonused to determine the date of Easter, is based on mathematical approximations following a year cycle called the Metonic cycle. Both dates may coincide with the dates of the astronomical events, but in some years, they don't.
Ecclesiastical Dates In years in which the Church's March equinox and Paschal Full Moon dates do not coincide with the astronomical dates of these events, confusion about the date of Easter can arise. Infor example, the March equinox in the Western Hemisphere happened on Wednesday, March 20while the first Full Moon in spring was on Thursday, March 21 in many time zones.
If the Church followed the timing of these astronomical events, Easter would have been celebrated on March 24, the Sunday after the Full Moon on March However, the Full Moon dating in March specified by the Church's lunar calendar, also called the ecclesiastical Full Moon, was March 20, —one day before the ecclesiastical date of the March equinox, March For that reason, the Easter date was based on the next ecclesiastical Full Moon, on April This is why Easter Sunday was on April Since Easter happens on the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, it can fall on any date between March 22 and April 25 years
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