The last time we’ve talked about Why Some Feasts Are Moveable While Others Always Fall On The Same Day? which was an indeed, interesting article that thoroughly explained why Easter is celebrated on different dates each year.
Well, given the feedback we received, we know that you loved it so, here’s another question many people don’t know the answer to: why the Catholic and Orthodox Easter are some years celebrated on the same day, while on other years are celebrated on different days?
The truth is that even though the whole issue is kind of complicated, it all comes down to two main reasons: (the article continues after the ad)
1) JULIAN CALENDAR Vs GREGORIAN CALENDAR
The first main reason is that the Catholic church is using the new Gregorian calendar to calculate the Easter Sunday whilst Orthodox churches are using the old Julian calendar. Because the Julian calendar is thirteen (13) days behind the Gregorian (remember when we talked about The Unbelievable Story Of Why October 5th – October 14th, 1582 Did Not Exist?), Orthodox Easter is later than the Catholic one.
But why some years these two feasts are celebrated on the same day? This happens when the full moon that follows the equinox is the first full moon after March 21 in both the Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar. But even then, there’s one more reason why the two feasts may not coincide and it’s that based on the fact that the Orthdox church follows an early practice of the Christian church.
2) THE JEWISH PASSOVER
According to the First Ecumenical Council that was held in Nicea in 325 AD, the Easter celebrations should take place after the Jewish Passover (a Jewish holiday celebrating their freedom from slavery under the leadership on Moses). Orthodox church follows this rule, Catholics don’t. And here it’s where it gets tricky:
The Jewish passover begins on the evening of a full moon after March 21 (vernal equinox) and lasts for seven days. Now, if you remember, this full moon is also the key date for the Easter celebrations (Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after March 21). This year for example, the last full moon after March 21, was on March 31 (Saturday) hence, the Catholic Easter is on Sunday, April 1. But remember, on March 30, we also had the start of the Jewish passover so, the Orthodox church should wait for it to end on April 7, and celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 8.
It’s confusing, i know, but that’s how it is.
So now you know – you useless info junkie. Good luck on explaining that to your friends.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Why Some Feasts Are Moveable While Others Always Fall On The Same Day?
Main Article Photo: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Side-by-side Easter calendar reference for the 21st century | Why Orthodox Easter is the Same Day as Catholic Easter This Year | Is the Date of Easter Related to Passover? | FULL MOON, EASTER & PASSOVER
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