Some years Easter is in March and other years it is in April. Why is this? Thank you.
Thank you for your question. Actually, the date of Easter is a controversy that goes back at least to the First Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325.
Two things should be noted: (1) The Western Church (Roman Catholic and Protestant churches) celebrate Easter on a different date than the date used by the Eastern Church (Greek Orthodox, etc.) and (2) some Protestants (such as the New England Puritans) did not celebrate Christmas or Easter, a conviction shared by some Protestants today in the Puritan tradition.
The Eastern Church follows the Julian Calendar (established by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C.); their Easter can be celebrated anywhere from a week to more than a month after the Western churches.
The Western church uses the Gregorian calendar, which was established in A.D. 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a reformed version of the earlier Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is 13 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which, coupled with differing definitions of a full moon and an equinox, accounts for the date disparity. (The Gregorian calendar is the one now used worldwide for civil purposes.)
Again, as I suggested above, there are as many as five weeks between the two Easter celebrations. In the Western Church, Easter falls between late March and late April; in the Orthodox Church, it is between early April and early May.
A bit strange, isn't it?
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