When is Easter 2017?

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Easter  Lily

This was a plant my niece brought to me in Memory of my Daughter several Easters ago. It still blooms every year in Kimberly’s flower bed,

Susan Williams

When is Easter Sunday 2017—and why does the date of Easter change every year? Here are some answers from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Brief History of Easter

Easter Sunday is the most important celebration in the Christian calendar. This Christian holy day celebrates the resurrection of Christ after his Crucifixion and was probably the earliest of the church’s annual festivals. Folk customs attached to the festival date from pre-Christian times:

  • Eggs, traditionally forbidden during Lent, symbolize new life.
  • The Easter Bunny recalls the hare, the Egyptian symbol of fertility.

Easter may have derived its name from the Saxon goddess Eostre, whose feast was celebrated each spring at about this time. Or, it may have derived from the word oster, meaning “rising.”


When is Easter 2017?

Year Gregorian

(converted to
Gregorian date)

2016 March 27 May 1
2017 April 16 April 16
2018 April 1 April 8

Why Does Easter Change Every Year?

Sometimes Easter Sunday falls in late March and sometime in April! It’s confusing isn’t it? The reason Easter falls on different dates annually is because Easter is a “movable” feast based on the lunar calendar.

Specifically, Easter’s timing is tied to the full Moon and the vernal equinox (not the civil calendar).

Does that surprise you? Read on …

How Easter is Calculated

  • Christian churches that follow the Gregorian calendar, such as many Western Christian churches, celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the paschal full Moon on or just after the vernal equinox.

    For simplicity, the equinox is considered March 21 (a fixed spring date set by the church) though it’s not always that day. The paschal full Moon always falls on the 14th day of a lunar month; because ancient calculations (made in a.d. 325) did not take into account certain lunar motions, it may differ from the actual full Moon date by a day or so.

  • Certain Christian churches, such as many Eastern Orthodox churches, follow the Julian calendar, either for movable feasts or for all religious observances. Due to these different methods of calculation, various Christian denominations may celebrate the feast on different days.
  • In Christian churches that follow the Gregorian calendar for determining the date of Easter, the observance can never occur before March 22 or after April 25. In Christian churches that follow the Julian calendar for determining the date of Easter, the observance can occur between April 4 and May 8 (using Gregorian calendar dates).

What is the Golden Number?

Readers often ask us about the Golden Number which is used in calculations for determining the date of Easter.

It’s a number in the 19-year cycle of the Moon. (The Moon repeats the dates of its phases approximately every 19 years.)

Add 1 to any given year and divide the result by 19; the remainder is the Golden Number.

If there is no remainder, the Golden Number is 19. 

Easter Recipes

For the big feast, here are Easter dinner ideas, Easter side dishes, sweet Easter breads, and Easter desserts.

From glazed ham to deviled eggs, we’re ready for the big feast day! See our Best Easter Recipes.

Glazed Lemon Coconut Loaf for Easter
Photo: Glazed Lemon Coconut Loaf. Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner


Happy Easter from your editors at The Old Farmer’s Almanac



The Old Farmer's Almanac


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Weather in Savannah GA on May 7th 2016

How can I get this opinion from you?
Please advise!

the point of the tradition is

the point of the tradition is to respond to the right point in life that is true to our own hearts that does not mean that opposition is in our own lives

Mr DeNunzio, I read your "the

Mr DeNunzio,

I read your "the point of the tradition" comment.

If the point of Easter is to celebrate Jesus' resurrection, wouldn't it be appropriate to see what Jesus thinks of this tradition? At Mark 7:7,8 he quoted Isaiah 29:13 "...it is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach as doctrines commands of men. Letting go the commandment of God, YOU hold fast the tradition of men."

If in the past the worship of men was rejected by the true God because they taught traditions in place of Gods word then wouldn't your Easter tradition, a invention of men and unscriptural tradition present the same results to those who practiced it?

Later Jesus clearly identified the problem of unscriptural traditions being practiced in his day. At Matthew 15:3 he replied; "YOU also overstep the commandment of God because of YOUR tradition" and moments later in verses 6 to 8 "YOU have made the word of God invalid because of YOUR tradition.  YOU hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about YOU, when he said, This people honors me with their lips, yet their heart is far removed from me."

But why does this Easter Tradition offend God and Jesus so much?

Established facts show that the origins of Easter customs come from ancient fertility rites and consequently make Easter unacceptable to God. God requires that we give him exclusive devotion and he is offended by worship that includes practices that he does not approve of. But verify God's viewpoint for yourself by reading both of the following accounts, Exodus 20:5 and 1 Kings 18:21.

Jesus taught clearly to celebrate his death, not ressurection, found in your Bible at Luke 22:19,20.

True Christians believe their decision to abstain from celebrating Easter is based firmly on the Bible, which encourages using scriptural wisdom and thinking ability rather than blindly following human traditions. You can find these principles in your Bible at Proverbs 3:21 and Matthew 15:3.

At the same time as sharing these scriptural thoughts in harmoney with 1 Peter 3:15 I also respect that people have a right to decide what they will do.

That said, the scriptural facts are that the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him. God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth, John 4:23,24. Not by following ancient fertility rites celebrations.

Following God-dishonoring traditions is not worshipping in truth and not acceptable to the true God. Only those who exert themselves to find out God's thoughts and Jesus' teachings as recorded in the Bible and follow them can enjoy true satisfaction and a bright future. Jehovah's Witnesses can assist you with that, their meeting days and times are listed on the Kingdom Hall or you can visit www.JW.org if more convenient.

This is the right point in life.

Michael McBride

Michael, you have some valid

Michael, you have some valid points, and I believe the Christian church (which was a Catholic church at the time) created the Easter celebration to give the pagans something to celebrate in the spring other than their pagan rites. However, to celebrate Jesus' resurrection is to reflect the disciples' joy at seeing Him alive again. We honor Him for His death and remember His suffering and total sacrifice for us, and we rejoice in His resurrection and victory over death. Those things are right and wonderful and a part of worship. To call the resurrection "easter" is not right though it has been an accepted "Christian" holiday for many, many years. To make a final point, though, I do not see why this issue is of great importance to you being an adherent to the Jehovah's Witness group. You do not believe in Jesus' divinity, nor do you believe He is Jehovah God come in a flesh body to turn back the curse of the devil (sin and death). So the celebration of easter or any other day commemorating His resurrection should not be an issue with you since you are not worshiping Him as Lord and God anyway. As Isaiah said, He would be called Emanuel, meaning "GOD with us." And as John said in his gospel (ch.1), "Without HIM (Jesus) not anything was made that was made." And as God directed Moses to write in the first chapter of His Word, "Let US make man in OUR own image." To reject Jesus' Lordship and the truth of His union with God the Father is to reject Him as Savior. And to reject Him as the Holy Spirit is to be completely void of His teachings and His quickening to our hearts and minds to guide and direct us each day of our lives. In saying this, I repeat that it should make no difference to you whether churches celebrate Jesus' resurrection on a day they call Easter or not. Without the knowledge in your heart that Jesus, our Lord and God, took a flesh body, came to the earth to die as a perfect sin-free man (the only way satan could be totally defeated) yet remain absolute Almighty God, you cannot worship Him either for His death or for His resurrection because in trying, you are doing no more than worshiping a nice man who was perfect in His ways (who you believe to have once been the archangel Michael). "??" The only One we are to worship is God. The only One we are to glorify is God. On the day in which Jesus suffered, and on resurrection day when He rose, we worship what we do know - our Lord and our God who came to die for us and rose again, once and for all turning back satan's curse upon us and giving us eternal life in that Paradise he has opened up for us.

So, if I want to function in

So, if I want to function in the American culture, including school breaks, Christian holidays, Jewish holidays, and be at an open celebration on the appropriate day and time, when is Easter?

In America Easter and other

In America Easter and other religious holidays are always figured using the Gregorian calendar.

Easter in Ukraine is

Easter in Ukraine is celebrated on the 5th May 2013 as is in the UK. Ukrainians 1st/2nd/3rd Generation born are Greek Catholics, therefore follow the Julian calendar for both Chrsitmas and Easter. Xpucmoc Bockpec to fellow Ukrainians around the world!

I'll type it phonetically, we

I'll type it phonetically, we pronounce it
sreh-ken, boh-sheik.
You have to pronounce the verbs in the "short" sound, "boh" is not like "bow", not so much "oh" sound, shorter than that.
And "sheik" should have a bit of "z" sound to the "s".

Literal translation means, "Lucky Easter".
It's a term that is used like "Happy Easter" or "Merry Christmas" that people say to each other during the holiday.

BTW, in the Orthodox slavic/Russian language we don't use the word "Easter", it's more like above "boh-sheik".
Interestingly in Italian is "buona pasqua".

Here's how to say "Happy Easter" in 10 other languages:
French Joyeuses Pâques
German Frohe Ostern
Italian Buona Pasqua
Spanish ¡Felices Pascuas!
Dutch Vrolijk Pasen
Polish Szczęśliwej Wielkanocy!
Danish God påske
Portuguese Feliz Páscoa
Catalan Bona Pasqua
Romanian Paşte Fericit

Notice the German version, Frohe Ostern.
And you see where the English/American "Easter" comes from as German has a major influence on English.
And, you also see "Ostern" as related to the northern Europe Saxon goddess
Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre).

The modern world is woven
from ancient threads.
It can not exist without them.
That's why we need to know what those threads are and where they come from in order to know ourselves.

Thank you for this posting,

Thank you for this posting, it is really informative. But the last 5 verses are just awesome. I am not sure if they are someone else's creation that you are quoting, or you created them.... simple poetry and oh so true - in perpetuity. My, nice !

Its fun to know how

Its fun to know how pascha(Easter) is determined.I have learnt alot.For us in Uganda we use Gregorian callendar. Thamk you!

Romanian orthodox and

Romanian orthodox and Romanian greek catholic celebrate Easter on 5 may. Only roman-catholics celebrate Easter on 31 march.

Why is the calendar going

Why is the calendar going backwards instead of forward if Easter was on April 8, 2012 than that would mean that Easter would be April 16, 2013, instead of March 31, 2013???????

I'm confused. The nominal

I'm confused. The nominal (not astronomical) Julian equinox is Julian March 21, which is Gregorian April 3. Then the full moon after that is Gregorian April 25 and the Sunday after that is April 28. Where does the extra week come from? What am I missing?

Why isn't Easter celebrated

Why isn't Easter celebrated on the 19th day of the month of Nissan. Which would be four days after the start of Pesach?

In 2013, the 19th day of the

In 2013, the 19th day of the month of Nissan translates in the Gregorian calendar to Saturday, March 30.

According to the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325), Easter must occur on the first Sunday after the paschal full Moon, which is the first full Moon after the vernal equinox. The full Moon and equinox dates are calculated, not actual. The vernal equinox for the purpose of calculating the date of Easter is always set to March 21. The paschal full Moon is also a tabulated date; it may not match the exact date of the astronomical full Moon--a difference of a day or so.

On occasion, such as happened in 2008, Pesach will fall after Easter, rather than before. This is due in part to calculation differences between the Hebrew lunisolar calendar and the Gregorian solar calendar.

Can Easter ever occur on

Can Easter ever occur on April 1, April Fools's Day?

Yes; this applies to

Yes; this applies to calculations for Easter using either the Gregorian and Julian calendars. But, it does not apply to Julian calendar dates converted to Gregorian calendar dates.

In many Western Christian denominations that use the Gregorian calendar, for example, Easter can fall as early as March 22 and as late as April 25. It has fallen on April 1 a few times, the last being in 1956. It will occur again on that date in 2018.

According to the Julian calendar, the last Orthodox Easter on April 1, for example, was in 1996. The next will be in 2058. However, when these dates are converted to the Gregorian calendar, Orthodox Easter falls on April 14 for these years.

Note that when converted to Gregorian calendar dates from the Julian calendar dates, Orthodox Easter can not fall earlier than April 3.

Actually, Easter Orthodox

Actually, Easter Orthodox Easter cannot fall earlier than the Gregorian date of April 4, because the Gregorian date of April 3 corresponds to Julian calendar March 21, and Orthodox Easter falls on the first Sunday that occurs AFTER the paschal moon occurring on or after Julian March 21. (This is similar to Western Easter never occurring before March 22 Gregorian.)

Yes, easter can fall on April

Yes, easter can fall on April 1. According to the gregorian calender,easter for 2018 will fall on April 1.

An aside: Further to a recent

An aside: Further to a recent Florida Court judgement - we could consider April 1st as a holiday for atheists as the Bible says..."the fool has said in his hert - there is no God".

It is perfectly OK with me if

It is perfectly OK with me if you give coverage to Easter next week. I ask only that you also give coverage to Pascha (Russian, Orthodox, Eastern European) --- which will occur on 5/5/2013 this year. Isn't it nice that we orthodox Christians get such nice sale prices for our Easter Lilys and Easter candy) Not that candy and flowers are the purpose of this most important religious feast.

Easter has nothing to do with

Easter has nothing to do with Passover. Passover 2013 is 25th-26th, Easter is 31st. Therefore, Easter cannot be the day of the resurrection. Easter (Is-thar) is a Babylonian deity and the holiday is a pagan practice.

I agree completely, and

I agree completely, and Passover is properly calculated using the original Calendar. The Luni-Solar calendar based on each month starting with the New Moon. Passover is always the 14 day of the month. Sabbath's are always the 8th 15th 22th and 29th.
There was no Julian or Gregory so their fictitious calendar's had not been "invented" yet.

Esther. Is there any chance

Esther. Is there any chance that we over look the fact that Queen Esther who was Jewish, who married King Ahasurus? of Persia, may have the significance of Purim, associated with "Easter".
Accordingly, Purim is celebrated, in commemoration either the 1 st of the month of March, in like manner, honoring and establihing a holiday for the rememberance, and commemoration of the exodus the childewn of Israel out of Egypt, and celebrating the Joyous exoneration of the decree in Persia to set the Jewish people free of hostilities. Purim celebrates the, cleansing, newness of life the rebirth and Sacred Holiness of God's Provision, Intervention and love for His Holy People. I keep thinking in my mind that Esther, rather, that anything else brings into mind like the "Passover" the next Holiday after Passover commemorating the Manna from Heaven-God's provision, would be a day like unto "Purim" in which we see God's provision, manifestation and Intervention, which is the Resurrection of His Holy Son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the Messiah, on a Holy day like unto the rebirth, cleansing and Sacred Holiness of God's Provision of Manna from Heaven in the Resurrection of His Only Holy Begotten Son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I feel Esther truly is associated with Easter fro the reasons mentioned above.

While it is interesting to associate and try to assimilate different faiths it is not appropriate to disregard time lines and sequence of events of Scripture. The Story of the Jewish people shows a time line of events
and unparallelled history; and remembrance of events was celebrated by establishing Holidays. such as Passover, then hundreds of years later, Purim. Easter, celebrates the continuing timeline of the Resurrection.
The story seems to say first separate from "Egypt" a worldly place of sin, Passover- sacrificial lamb, then Purim- consecrate one self in Holiness and righteousness to the Lord, and Resurrect- Re borne, rise again with a new life, with the Life of Christ within you.

Thank you for broadening my

Thank you for broadening my historical facts of easter it was informative

NO, Easter itself is not

NO, Easter itself is not pagan. It is a Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. That is what Easter is for Christians.
However, as far as how it became known as "Easter", along with many other practices of Easter, this does have quit a bit of basis in ancient Pagan faiths.
The word "Easter" comes from Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe.
This goddess was also part of other similar deities like the "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre." Also, throughout other ancient cultures there were similar deities celebrating birth and renewal and Istar, from Assyria was one of them, along with others such as Astarte from ancient Greece,
Ashtoreth from ancient Isreal, Kali from Indian, and others.
Here is an alternate basis or origin of the word "Easter" that can be found on the internet:
"An alternative explanation has been suggested. The name given by the Frankish church to Jesus' resurrection festival included the Latin word "alba" which means "white." (This was a reference to the white robes that were worn during the festival.) "Alba" also has a second meaning: "sunrise." When the name of the festival was translated into German, the "sunrise" meaning was selected in error. This became "ostern" in German. Ostern has been proposed as the origin of the word "Easter"."

Then we have the developing and power growing early Christian church wanting to Christianize "Pagan" people mostly in Europe. This leads to the Christian church using symbolism from the Pagan's beliefs to influence the Pagans into accepting Christianity, and the Church created the celebrations around the celebrations the Pagans already had during springtime to honor their deities named above.
So in essence the Easter celebration was a mixing of Christian beliefs and Pagan celebrations, in order to bring Pagan's into Christianity.
This works because these Pagan celebrations are about renewal, revival, and the rebirth of life at the coming of spring after the "death" brought on by winter.
The symbolism follows closely with the story of Jesus, his death (winter), and subsequent rebirth and revival (spring).
Some say the Christian story and the Pagan stories about their deities influenced each other.

The story of Ishtar is eye opening as you can easily see many things about Ishtar and the stories that clearly parallel Jesus, the Trinity, and other things like the the cycle of the moon, which as we know is how the day for Easter is calculated.
The story also reveals a "40 day" time of mourning and sarrow, and how "no meat" was to be eaten during this period, just like the fasting before Easter.
Then there is Oester a great northern goddess who's symbol is the rabbit!

It's interesting to realize that Jesus's death and resurrection is NOT celebrated in the Bible as "Easter", and there is no description of an Easter celebration nor how to celebrate or anything.

The acceptance/belief in the resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of Christian faith.
Wanting to then celebrate that momentous event is why Easter was created. And it was created by taking things from various Pagan traditions to construct a holiday "HOLY DAY" that have become Christian traditions, down to even the name, "Easter".

Still, I do not accept the Easter is a Pagan holiday, because it does not celebrate a Pagan event. Yet, I do understand how and why Pagan traditions and imagery were adopted and adapted in order to create a celebration to honor and remember the death and resurrection of Jesus, and it is due to those adoptions and adaptations that led Pagans toward and into Christianity.
Easter as risen. Truly it has risen. :)

There is hardly any

There is hardly any difference with Ishtar and Ostare. These are the same. Ishtar eggs....Quick like a rabbit....are but just a few rituals done for these fake goddesses.

Messiah's resurrection is Passover.

Pascal is the word in the manuscript, from the Greek, mistranslated. The word Pascal means Passover never Easter.

Actually, Easter's date has

Actually, Easter's date has everything to do with Passover. The last supper was, in fact, the Passover Seder. The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar. Easter Sunday is ALWAYS the Sunday closest to the Passover Seder. That is also why much of the story of the Jewish courts and elders meeting that night for business is in question with Jewish scholars.

Hello, readers, We appreciate

Hello, readers, We appreciate the helpful comments! Since there is such variability, we have made some adjustments to our article. Thank you, the OFA editors

I am trying to verify if June

I am trying to verify if June 29, 2013 is good to be married in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada following the Julian Calendar given that June 29 is on Sts Peter and Paul Feast Day per the Gregorian Calendar. Please advise, our church calendars for 2013 are not available. Thank you and Xpucmoc Bockpec.

Even though my family is from

Even though my family is from Russia/Ukraine, I am American-made and American-born. So, I was brought up to celebrate both holidays, such as Easter. All I understand is that Russian holidays follow the week after American holidays. This is what I was told/taught. Anyone feel like enlightening me some more? I haven't learned much and so I am a bit naive. Happy Easter and HRISTOS VOSKRESE! :) Thank you!

Always interesting how Easter

Always interesting how Easter is determined. Being Greek Orthodox our house gets two Easters--one with the baskets and bunnies and ham the other with Holy Week, red eggs and lamb. Best of both!

Pascha (Easter) is celebrated

Pascha (Easter) is celebrated after Passover as Christ celebrated the Passover before his crucifixion. All else has been decided by Church Councils which came after the Apostolic Era was over. The Orthodox tradition is older. A Universal Church Council could regulate this. I might even live to see it!

yes, agreed. but this

yes, agreed. but this doesn't explain 2013 since Passover begins March 26th and Pascha is May 5th.

It is incorrect and

It is incorrect and misleading to classify Julian calendar feasts and dates as Orthodox. There are other churches, such as , e.g. Ukrainian Catholic or Romanian Catholic who also follow this calendar.
It is amazing that in the 21-st century, when there is so much accommodation for even tiny splinter sects and religious groups, this kind of inaccuracy continues to be perpetuated by news services and other sources of supposedly accurate information.

Most Ukrainian

Most Ukrainian Greek/Byzantine CATHOLIC parishes follow the GREGORIAN calendar & celebrate Holy Thursday/Good Friday/Holy Saturday & EASTER on the SAME dates as the Roman Catholic Church. However, these parishes may also celebrate EASTER Sunday a second time, coinciding w/Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, etc. ORTHODOX, for all those die-hard purists who insist on celebrating according to the Julian way. So much for being "In COMMUNION w/ Rome & the Holy Father!... Sigh...

in ukraine, they celebrate

in ukraine, they celebrate according to the julian calendar only

No this is incorrect. ALL

No this is incorrect. ALL Ukrainian catholics of the Byzantine rite follow the Julian calendar not the Gregorian. We are in communion with Rome by virtue of a historical quirk. Liturgically we do not have any overlap with the Latin Rite. Christmas is celebrated as in the Orthodox churches on 07 January and Easter this year with be in May. (UK, Europe and Australasia, at least!!)

Where did you get this from?

Where did you get this from? I follow the Gregorian Calendar here and my Ukrainian Catholic friends in Canada follow the Gregorian Calendar, and so do my Ukrainian Catholic friends in Australia.

Sorry Maria, I am an

Sorry Maria,
I am an Australian born Ukrainian, strongly brought up in the Ukrainian culture and traditions by my migrant parents.
We have always - and still do - follow the Julian calendar here in Australia.

Often individual Orthodox

Often individual Orthodox families will decide to celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25th if they live in a country where the majority celebrate on the 25th. However, most of those families also celebrate or honor January 7th as Christmas based on their religion.
So for some Christian Orthodox families they will celebrate on the 25th by exchanging gifts and a family get together in response to the larger culture they live in. And then they will celebrate their religions Christmas observance on Jan. 7th, but this celebration is typically done in more religious somber fashion by gathering the family together for a feast. There is very little to no gift exchange, as that is done during the Dec. 25th celebration.
This is what my family and many many other Eastern Orthodox families do who live in western countries dominated by western Christian faiths, which are mainly Catholic and Protestant, and the all the other faiths the stem from Protestantism.
This is common in the USA and some places in Canada that have larger Eastern Orthodox populations.
So there can be faith based and cultural based celebrations of Christmas, especially in countries that have more forgiving notions about separating religion from the greater general culture.

Being "in communion" does not

Being "in communion" does not mean a hostile takeover, nor is it a merger (to use commercial speak). Rome does not interfere with liturgical traditions or obserances. It is a real shame you do not have a grasp of this. We are different and I would walk and join the Orthodox Church is any attempt was ever made to waterdown my beliefs and practises by Rome.

dye-hard purists? Obviously,

dye-hard purists? Obviously, this shows the amount of respect you have for other traditions, never mind the Roman Catholic centrisity.

Actually, it's not

Actually, it's not coincidence but Orthodox typology. The type always precedes the fulfillment, so Passover always precedes Pascha among the Orthodox.

Thanks guys! Now I better

Thanks guys! Now I better understand how and when Easter falls. I followed the directions on how to find the Golden Number. I got April 12 as Easter Sunday for the year 2020.

My remaining number was April

My remaining number was April 7, 2020. This is fun. I will check again.

Actually, it is merely

Actually, it is merely coincidence that the Orthodox Pascha always follows Passover. The current formula for calculating Easter was imposed after the early Church debate over Quartodecimenism, which celebrated the Pascha according to the Hebrew calendar. The basic problem was that with Quartodecimenism Easter could fall on any day of the week. Outside the Middle East, (as in Rome and North Africa)people were more disposed to keep Easter on Sunday because the original event was on Sunday. So a Council decreed the current formula. However, when Pope Gregory revised the calendar, the Orthodox churches refused to change their church kalendars, hence, their continued use of the Julian calendar. It is merely coincidence that for the last few centuries Orthodx Pashca always follows Passover; it was not so when the rule was first implemented. Another complication is the use of church kalendar data instead of accurate astronomical calendar data. The rule says that Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the vernal equinox, but when I was a young man I was surprised one year to discover that Western Easter was celebrated a week later than the full moon as noted in the OFA. This, it turns out, was because of the calculations for the date of the full moon of the church kalendar, which is not astronomically accurate. Sorry, I can't remember the year.

_Astronomical Algorithms_ by

_Astronomical Algorithms_ by Jean Meeus lists the following years between 1900 & 2100 when the Gregorian Easter differs from "the purely astronomical rule": 1900, '03, '23, '24, '27, '43, '54, '62, '67, '74, 1981, 2038, '49, '69, '76, '89, '95, 2096. So we seem to be near the middle of an 'accurate patch'. The most frequent date is April 19.

Meeus also mentions that the dates of Julian Easter, according to the Julian (Old Style) calendar, repeat every 532 years. During that time the discrepancy between the Julian and Gregorian calendars increases by three to five days.

Not all Eastern churches

Not all Eastern churches follow the Julian calendar. My church, the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) follows the Western calendar and yet Easter is the same. That is because Easter is based on an event and not a date and yes, the event includes Passover having commenced.

The Eastern Orthodox also

The Eastern Orthodox also require that Easter follow Passover, so when Passover occurs late in the season, Pascha (Orthodox Easter) will occur in late April or early May, as in 2013.

In the Eastern Orthodox, if

In the Eastern Orthodox, if the first full moon after the vernal equinox is a Sunday, Pascha (Eastern Orthodox Easter) will be the following Sunday. Also, the Greek Orthodox is the only Eastern Orthodox denomination whose Church calendar follows the Gregorian calendar for the entire Church year EXCEPT that cannonically all Eastern Orthodox Churches "must" celebrate Easter on the same day. Therefore, the Greek Orthodox Church calendar switches from following Gregorian to following Julian and then back to Gregorian. For example, Greek Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25 (Gregorian) vs. all other Eastern Orthodox denominations' Christmas which is celebrated on Jan. 7 (Julian); since Jan. 7 is the Julian equivalent of Gregorian Dec. 25. That's why some years the Greek Orthodox Church has to move when it celebrates St. George's Day (April 25) [Gregorian] until after Easter if Easter falls before St. George's Day! Whew!

Correct except that St.

Correct except that St. George's day is celebrated after Pascha if Easter falls AFTER St. George's day...

St. George is on April 23 not

St. George is on April 23 not 25.

April 25 is the Feast Day of

April 25 is the Feast Day of St Mark the Evangelist, one of the writers of the New Testament Gospels.

St. George is May 1st.

St. George is May 1st.

The Greeks are great

The Greeks are great philosophers and discuss every point to minutia. i am puzzled why nott one thinking Greek Orthodox questions the inconsistency in setting Christmas according to one calendar and Easter according to another?

Because you're confusing the

Because you're confusing the ancient Polytheist Hellenistic "Greeks" with modern Christian Greeks.

The honor of logic and philosophy belongs to the Hellenistic people, not the modern Greeks. The word "Greek" has become synonymous with the Ancient Hellenes, but that's due to a lack of understanding history.
I believe that the use of the word "Greek" should only be used to describe modern Greeks and should not be confused with the ancient people of the region.
The ancient hellenes called themselves by the city state they lived or were from.
So, if you lived in Sparta you were a Spartan. If you were from Athens you were Athenian.
The modern word "Greek" is a much later construct, and has wrongly been used to include the ancient Hellenes.
It's now in common use, but there is a distinction with a difference, because the Hellenistic people did not call themselves "Greeks". Modern Greeks want this modern use of the word 'Greek' to also include the ancients as they want to be associated with that great culture. Remember the father in the movie "My big fat Greek wedding" and he believed everything comes from Greek?When in fact he was associating himself, a modern Greek, with the ancient Hellenistic culture that has major influence over modern western society. Many modern Greeks try to maneuver and explain that the modern word "Greek" comes from an the ancient word "Graeki", which is actually pronounced with the letter "G" as a "Y" sound like in "Yard". But, the word "Graeki" is an ancient Latin word used to describe all the people in the Hellene land. The ancient "Greeks" were not like modern Greeks even to the extent that they were Polytheists. Modern Greeks are Christians.

Greek Churches in Greece

Greek Churches in Greece celebrate Christmas on Jan 7 (Julian), while Greek Churches in USA celebrate on Dec. 25 (Gregorian).

That is not entirely the case

That is not entirely the case zoram. The church of Greece celebrates Xmas on December 25. But, there in an orthodox church in Greece that follows the Julian calendar, and therefore celebrate Xmas on January 7.

I have to disagree with this

I have to disagree with this comment. Christmas in Greece is celebrated on December 25th, it's a fact.

if you are catholic greek

if you are catholic greek then you are celebrating in 25 December

No, Greek Orthodox is not the

No, Greek Orthodox is not the only one. Romanian Orthodox does the same, in that it follows Gregorian and switches to Julian for Easter. Christmas is celebrated on December 25th.

The Russian Orthodox Church

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR) also strictly follows the Gregorian calendar.

I think you are mistaken. The

I think you are mistaken. The Orthodox Church follows the Julian (aka Caesarean) calendar that went into effect in 45 B.C. The Gregorean calendar was established in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII because every 131 years, the Caesarean calendar was off with equinoxes and solstices by one day which affects the date of Easter. In 2013, according to the Gregorian calendar, Easter is Mar 31. Pascha (Orthodox Easter) according to the JULIAN (aka Caesarean)calendar is May 5th.

The Ancient Church of the

The Ancient Church of the East also know as "Holy Apostolic Catholic Church of the East" follows the Julian Calendar for all of it's festivities. Recently in 2011 they changed Christmas day to be celebrated using the Gregorian Calendar all other church festivities are still using the Julian. Calendar

Saying that all Greek

Saying that all Greek Orthodox Churches follow the (new)Gregorian calendar is not accurate. The correct term for the calendar that is followed is neither the Gregorian nor Julian, but rather the Patristic Calendar. The early fathers used the Julian calendar and worked it over to create the dates and schedules of feasts for the church within the framework of the Julian calendar. When Pope Gregory undertook the project to create a (new) calendar, it's purpose was for more than to correct the flaws of the Julian calender, but to demonstrate his sole authority over the church. For this and other reasons, the church has never accepted this change and it was forced upon the Orthodox in Greece under the threat of death or imprisonment. Co-celebrating with heretics as many do with the (new)calender is clearly condemned in the anathamas read during the Sunday of Orthodoxy. There is only ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH, not several divided by calendars. The fathers, through the ecumenical councils, determined the calendar, the Theology, and practices of the church that need to be held until a valid ecumenical council, guided by the Holy Spirit, determines otherwise.

Not ALL other Eastern

Not ALL other Eastern Orthodox denominations use Julian calendar to celebrate Christmas. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on December 25, using Gregorian calendar (small clarification, so you have your facts right)