The arrival of spring is eagerly anticipated after the long (and sometimes freezing) months of winter. For those who observe the occasion, spring brings more than just better weather; it also heralds the advent of Easter Sunday. Every year, the spring equinox changes the date of Easter and the activities leading up to it, unlike Christmas, which always falls on the same day. So we’ve answered some of your most pressing questions regarding why Easter shifts dates, as well as some of the holiday’s most essential observance dates.
Of course, you may determine the exact day of Easter this year by going back to the date of Ash Wednesday. 40 days of Lent culminate six and a half weeks following Ash Wednesday. It’s possible that the sky may hold the answer to the mystery of why these dates shift year after year instead of remaining constant like many other annual festivals like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day. The Gregorian calendar, lunar phases, and the vernal equinox are among the factors that influence the date’s fluctuation. Just how much work goes into determining the day of Easter each year?
When is Easter 2022?
Despite the fact that Easter is the centerpiece of the festival, there are a number of other significant events that take place prior to it. Wednesday, March 2 marks Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent, with many people attending their local churches to mark the occasion. People attend church on this day, and priests and pastors rub palm ashes from the previous Palm Sunday on their heads. They recite Genesis 3:19, which states, “…because you are dust, and to dust, you shall return.”
On Ash Wednesday, the Lenten season begins. As stated on the United Methodist Church’s website, Lent encourages us to “find our own manner of confronting our wickedness,” “remembering our mortality,” and “offering thankfulness for the gift of salvation we receive.” During the 40-day-long festival, many people opt to give up something or give themselves to charity.
Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday, April 10th, marks the culmination of Lent. 40 Acts recounts that on Palm Sunday, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem and was welcomed with palm branches. Holy Wednesday, which falls on April 13 this year, commemorates Judas Iscariot’s plot to betray Jesus Christ and is observed by Christians around the world. During Holy Thursday, which falls on the 14th of April, Christians commemorate the final supper. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated on Good Friday, which falls on April 15. Easter Sunday, which falls on April 17, marks the end of the week.
How is the Easter date determined every year?
Even though the actual date of Easter fluctuates every year, there is a specific timeframe during which the holiday falls: March 22 to April 25. This is important to keep in mind when planning your Easter festivities (in the Gregorian calendar, not the Julian calendar). Following the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere, the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that Easter will always fall on the first Sunday following a full moon known as the Paschal Full Moon.
April 16 and April 17 will be Easter 2022 since the vernal equinox happens on March 20, 2022, and the first full moon after that date is on April 16.
What Is Easter?
Among Christians, Easter is the most significant day of the year.
Easter commemorates Christ’s resurrection from the dead after his crucifixion and has been celebrated every year since the earliest days of the Church. Holy Week, Lent, and the Easter Triduum (which includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday) all come to a close on this day, which marks the beginning of the Easter season.
It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, death, and the physical body.
Where Did the Word “Easter” Come From?
It’s a time to rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is celebrated on Easter Sunday, also known as Pascha or Resurrection Sunday.
Let’s begin with the Latin term for Passover, Pascha, which is derived from the Hebrew word Pesach. According to the Hebrew Bible, Moses instructed his people to kill a passover lamb and paint the blood of the animal on their door on the first Passover. God safeguarded the Israelites by crossing over their doors and would not “let the destroyer to enter your homes to strike you down” (Ex. 12:23).
Christ’s resurrection and Passover are mentioned in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 5:7). As a paschal lamb, Jesus has been slain for the salvation of his people. It’s only fitting that the Feast of the Resurrection is tied to Passover, the Jewish holiday at which Jesus and his disciples shared their last supper. The “Paschal mystery” is celebrated today by Christians.
New Christians were baptized in white during Holy Week, and the Latin phrase hebdomada alba, which means “white week,” was used to describe their attire. After esostarum in Old German, the name for Easter came to be known as Easter.
According to Saint Bede, an Anglo-Saxon historian from the seventh century, the name Easter derives from the Anglo-Saxon dawn goddess of fertility Eostre, also known as the dawn goddess, who originated in what is now Scandinavia. Christians began to refer to Easter as Eosturmonath, the month in which it was celebrated, as time went on (what we now call April).
An old German word for “east,” which in turn derives from a Latin word for “dawn,” may be the origin of Easter. Historically, the word “easter” might simply mean “to turn toward the east” or “to rise,” with no religious connotations at all. Like Santa Claus, the “Easter Bunny” was established by Germans, who visited the homes of “good” youngsters.
As a result, no one can say for sure where the word “Easter” comes from. It’s an Old English word that dates back centuries.
The goddess of light or the Latin word for dawn has no bearing on the origin of the holiday known as Easter. Easter is a Christian event that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the message that death can bring new life.
Whence did we get the name “Easter”? This word’s origins remain a mystery. You can’t just claim it has religious or pagan beginnings; it’s more complicated.