Why do the dates of the Easter holidays change every year? The religious character that many countries used to have makes certain historic religious traditions remain today, such as the Easter holidays, linked to Christian Easter. Therefore, it’s necessary to attend to the religious reasons of this celebration to understand why its date changes.
According to the Christian faith, the death and resurrection of Christ, which is celebrated at Easter, took place after Jewish Passover, the feast in which the Jews celebrate their liberation and departure from Egypt. That’s why the date of Easter depends on when is the Jewish Passover, which is celebrated, according to the Jewish calendar, on the 15th day of the month of Nisan.
The reason why the date varies is that, unlike the calendar that we usually use, based on solar cycles, the Jewish calendar is governed by the lunar cycles. A solar year lasts 365 days, while a lunar year lasts about 354 days.
Therefore, Easter is celebrated on the first full moon Sunday after the spring equinox, which is the day that marks the beginning of spring and is usually around March 21. This is the reason why Easter Sunday changes every year in a margin from March 22 to April 25.
The date of the Easter holidays is really important if, for example, we intend to use them to go skiing. Understanding when the holidays are according to the lunar calendar can be complicated, but don’t worry: there is a method to calculate when Easter Sunday is valid for any year between 1900 and 2199. It goes like this:
1. Divide the year for which you want to know the date over 19
2. Multiply the number obtained without decimals by 19
3. Subtract the number obtained in step 2 from the year for which you want to know the date
4. Add one to the result
5. Check the final number in this list. Easter Sunday will be the Sunday following the date of the list with that corresponds
0 — March 27
1 — April 14
2 — April 3
3 — March 23
4 — April 11
5 — March 31
6 — April 18
7 — April 8
8 — March 28
9 — April 16
10 — April 5
11 — March 25
12 — April 13
13 — April 2
14 — March 22
Following the method to calculate the date for this year, 2019, we obtain the number 6, which corresponds to April 18 (Thursday). So, Easter Sunday this year will be on April 21.