During the past week the question floating around Carpenter Country was–why is Easter so late this year?
That stirred up a memory of a long ago March when my kids were little and everyone was asking– why is Easter so early this year?
In those days life was more hectic and my list of things to do only went as far as shopping for Easter outfits and coloring eggs for the annual hunt. But now everyone, including the grandkids, has grown up and I’m ready to find some answers.
Who knew the search would include astrology, astronomy and math.
The first thing I learned was the Council of Nicaea (325 CE) set the date of the ecclesiastical equinox that established Easter as a moveable feast. From there until the present, further information included the Paschal Full Moon, the Ecclesiastical Full Moon, the Astronomical Full Moon, the Julian calendar, Pope Gregory the thirteenth, the Gregorian calendar, Passover and world time zones.
When all was said and done, the spring equinox was reset to March 20. This year that date occurred the day after a full moon, so Easter had to wait until the first Sunday following the next full moon, which pushed the festival to a later date.
Right now, scientists are trying to pinpoint the exact occurrence of the Last Supper. When they do, Easter may become a fixed holiday, held every year on April 5.
After wading through all the calculations, interpretations and lunar observations, I have to say shopping for a new outfit and coloring eggs is a lot more fun.
And if I hurry, I just may have enough time left to do that.
Happy Easter, everyone!