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Easter Traditions

When is Easter?
Easter Sunday
Western Easter 
Easter Sunday
Orthodox Easter (Pascha)
8 April 2012 
31 March 2013 
20 April 2014 
5 April 2015 
27 March 2016 
16 April 2017 
1 April 2018 
21 April 2019
15 April 2012
5 May 2013
20 April 2014
12 April 2015
1 May 2016
16 April 2017
8 April 2018
28 April 2019

Sometimes both Easters are on the same date. When does this happen?

The two dates coincide when the full moon following the equinox comes so late that it counts as the first full moon after 21 March in the Julian calendar as well as the Gregorian. 
This is not a regular occurrence, but it has happened more frequently in recent years - in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2014. It is also take place in 2017, but, after that, not again until 2025.


Why isn't Easter on the same date every year - like Christmas, for example?

In the 4th century it was decided that the date of Easter would be the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. (The equinox is a day in the year on which daytime and night-time are of equal length. This happens twice a year, once in spring and once in autumn.)
So, Easter's date was established as movable.

Why do different parts of the Church celebrate Easter on different dates?

The problem arose in the 16th Century, when the Julian calendar, which had been established in 46 BC, was superseded by the Gregorian calendar. It took some time for the new calendar to be adopted by all countries (it did not happen in Greece until the start of the 20th Century!).
However, the Orthodox churches still use the Julian calendar to this day to calculate the vernal equinox and the full moon that follows it. This is why they calculate a different date.
Because of the differences between the two calendars, Orthodox and Catholic Easter are sometimes on the same days, and sometimes their dates vary. Catholic Easter can fall on any date between March 22 and April 25, and Orthodox Easter falls on any date between April 4 and May 8.

In the days of the early Christian church, only Easter Sunday was celebrated as a holy day.

By the fourth century, each day of the week preceding Easter were established as holy days including Good Friday.
The phrase "Good Friday" does not appear in the Bible and neither does the word "Friday." The only day called by a given name in the Bible is the seventh day, which is the Sabbath. The names of the other days are first, second, third and so on.
Good Friday is a fast day created by the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century A.D.
Calling this day ‘Good’ Friday is a designation that is peculiar to the English language. In German, for example, it is called Karfreitag. The Kar part is an obsolete word, the ancestor of the English word care in the sense of cares and woes, and it meant mourning. So in German, it is Mourning Friday.
Good Friday is also called in various countries Holy Friday, Black Friday, Great Friday, Long Friday, and Silent Friday.

Why is the Friday before Easter Sunday called Good Friday?

The origin of the term Good is not clear. Some say that the word good used to have a secondary meaning of holy.
There are a number of cases in set phrases where the words God and good got switched around because of their similarity. 
One case was the phrase God be with you, which today is just good-bye.
So perhaps Good Friday was originally God’s Friday.
Where Did The Easter Bunny Come From?

People have been celebrating spring for as long as weather got cold in the winter. Birds usually lay their eggs in the spring, so eggs were a natural symbol for spring, rebirth, and new life. Rabbits are very fertile animals whose babies scampered about in spring, so they also became symbols of spring. Many ancient cultures celebrated the coming of spring with religious ceremonies.
When the Romans were spreading across Europe, there were a lot of different religions, and assimilating people to Christianity was a challenge. Instead of simply forcing a whole new religion on people, they simply 'adopted' some traditions and celebrated the Christian holidays with those same traditions. 
Rabbits and eggs were both symbols of fertility and part of traditional pagan spring celebration so they were incorporated into Christian Easter.






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