Why does the date for Easter change from year to year?

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  1. JimTxMiller profile image75
    JimTxMillerposted 11 years ago

    Why does the date for Easter change from year to year?

    Given that the Christian celebration of Easter is a remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus, should not the holiday be on the same date as the supposed original event, that is, three days after the crucifixion?

  2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 11 years ago

    Well, I think the actual holiday is symbolic, since nobody knows the exact dates of the events. So, good Friday is always a Friday and Easter is always the following Sunday, which of course is a different date every year.

    1. JimTxMiller profile image75
      JimTxMillerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Which is to suggest the holiday and the event is supposedly honors are both arbitrary and established by clerics after the fact.

    2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
      HeadlyvonNogginposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Ah, okay. Well, I can see what you mean about the holiday, but the event? What bearing does the particulars about how/when the holiday is celebrated, or even how it was devised, have on the legitimacy of the event?

  3. christopheranton profile image63
    christopherantonposted 11 years ago

    Probably because it has to be on a Sunday. It doesn't matter for Christmas. But for the Holy Week liturgy to work properly, the commemorations have to correspond to certain days like Good Friday etc.

  4. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 11 years ago

    Hello Jim,
         Easter is always celebrated to keep the observance of Easter in correlation to the Jewish Passover. Because the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ happened after the Passover, they wanted Easter to always be celebrated subsequent to the Passover. And, since the Jewish holiday calendar is based on solar and lunar cycles, each feast day is movable, with dates shifting from year to year.

    1. JimTxMiller profile image75
      JimTxMillerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting since Easter originally was a pagan rite predating both Christianity and Judaism.

    2. profile image0
      JThomp42posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Easter by name wasn't a pagan rite. The celebration of the earth is what you  must be referring to. It certainly wasn't called Easter.

    3. JimTxMiller profile image75
      JimTxMillerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      "The name 'Easter' originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mo

    4. profile image0
      JThomp42posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for that info. Jim.

  5. alancaster149 profile image75
    alancaster149posted 11 years ago

    In the dark, early days of trying to convert the Angles (different kingdoms at different times), Jutes (first) and Saxons (similar to Angles due to complexity of Saxon kingship) within mainland Britain, some ideas had to be adapted. One of these ideas was the celebration of the Passion of Christ, a phrase that perplexed these northern folk. A compromise was arrived at. The goddess of the earth and its bounties was similar in each of the three cultures: Eostre/Eoster. The rite was a celebration of new life - motherhood - amongst the heathen incomers from across the sea, not the mourning of a man's passing. The two were linked insofar as Jesus was considered to have risen from his tomb on the third day (Easter Monday).
    The time-lapse and fixing of the date was based on the old heathen method of fixing the celebration of Eoster, by the phases of the moon (3rd full moon after the Yulefeast, now Christmas), at that time considered January 6th in the Julian calendar. It also happens to be 40 days after Shrove Tuesday, although that was set after the date of Easter - work that one out for yourself.
    As clear as Mississippi mud-pie? Or a bit clearer. You'd have had to be there when King Aethelberht of the Jutes in Centland (Kent) bargained for concessions with St Augustine, his big ace being the knowledge that Columba was advancing across Northumbria and if Augustine didn't like it he could get stuffed - which he would have if he'd got too 'shirty' with Aethelberht.
    "It's a long way back to North Africa, my man, and it's (quick 'wet-finger' test) that way!'
    You can imagine, can't you. Two, tall, bony old men seated on the Isle of Sheppey, on the north coast of Kent, eye-balling one another, the prospect of a better bargain with Columba (who'd only come from across the Irish Sea via Iona and could steer his way down the east coast) if Augustine's mission fell through. Aethelberht was in a win-win situation, and could dictate what his jutish priests of Odin and Celtic druids could think up as stumbling blocks for the Roman missionary.
    Who said power didn't taste sweet?

  6. Annie Miller profile image62
    Annie Millerposted 11 years ago

    You know, I went to Catholic school and no one ever explained the reasoning behind this moving celebration (ha) to us. I just assumed it had something to do with Spring break not taking place when all the public schools were out. ~ˬ•

    1. Seafarer Mama profile image79
      Seafarer Mamaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I appreciate your very honest answer and impressions, Annie. I think that Alancaster149's explanation is closer to reality than some of the others.

      It does vary due to the lunar cycle, similar to the system that dictates when Passover's timing.

  7. Apostle Jack profile image61
    Apostle Jackposted 11 years ago

    Ester is a pagan holiday,and have nothing to do with the Christian faith. Bunny rabbits and hen eggs do not go together. It is all about money,..and not Christian worship.


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