Why is Sunday Easter day?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Malika, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    My son J (aged 5) and I like to have theological discussions.

    Me: This Sunday is Easter day and the Easter bunny is going to come and give you chocolate.
    J: And why is Sunday Easter day?
    Me: Because a long time ago, there was a man called Jesus -
    J: And he gave chocolate to children!

    Which I'm sure Jesus would have done, if only it had been possible.
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Awwww. J sounds so precious.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I love conversations like this!

    I've always wondered how they arbitrarily decide which day is Easter. Seems like it should be fixed, like any other holiday, Know what I mean??

    And I am SURE Jesus had a way to give the children sweets! LOL!
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The date of Easter is not arbitrary. Here is the Catholic explanation, in case anyone really was wondering...there are other theories, depending upon your religious beliefs, however.

    How Is the Date of Easter Calculated?

    Easter is a moveable feast, which means that it does not occur on the same date every year. How is the date of Easter determined each year?

    The Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) set the date of Easter as the Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the vernal (spring) equinox.

    We know that Easter must always occur on a Sunday, because Sunday was the day of Christ's Resurrection. But why the paschal full moon? Because that was the date of Passover in the Jewish calendar, and the Last Supper (Holy Thursday) occurred on the Passover. Therefore, Easter was the Sunday after Passover.
    The Church does not use the exact date of the paschal full moon but an approximation, because the paschal full moon can fall on different days in different time zones, which would mean that the date of Easter would be different depending on which time zone you live in. For calculation purposes, the full moon is always set at the 14th day of the lunar month (the lunar month begins with the new moon). Likewise, the Church sets the date of the vernal equinox at March 21, even though it can occur on March 20. Both approximations allow the Church to set a universal date for Easter.
    Still, Easter isn't celebrated universally on that date. While Western Christians use the Gregorian calendar (the calendar that's used throughout the West today, in both the secular and religious worlds) to calculate the date of Easter, the Eastern Orthodox continue to use the older, astronomically inaccurate Julian calendar. Currently, March 21 on the Julian calendar falls on April 3 in the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, for the Orthodox, the Sunday following the 14th day of the paschal full moon has to fall after April 3, hence the discrepancy in the date of Easter.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OK... How about we petition them to "fix" it as, say, the first Sunday in April? That's 11-17 days after the spring equinox... And would make it more like Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Mothers' and Fathers' Days, Presidents' and MLK Days...

    That explanation is, if you read carefully, logical - but extremely convoluted!!!
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The more simple explanation is... the original date never was a "date". It's the Sunday after the Passover (which is a Saturday...). And THAT date moves...
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    One question? Why is Easter sometimes in March?
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It has to do with the various calendars and the way the dates for the Passover is calculated and the way the Catholic church decided to compute such things. (see longer article above)
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OK so from how I understand it... Spring Equinox is "set" at March 21.

    Passover is on the full moon, which doesn't always fall on a Saturday, but is observed on one; so 1 week and 1 day later (minimum 8 days after the full moon if I am guessing right) is Easter. SO, Easter can only fall on March 29, 30 or 31 if it falls in March at all. And the latest it can fall in April is the 26th, based on a lunar calendar that's 28 days.

    I think. But then again, neither am I Catholic nor an astronomer...
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    And this is why I love little kids. :) It's also why I spend quite a lot of time talking to them.
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I agree, Hound Dog. And what made the conversation (which happened in my car) funnier was when I burst out laughing and J stared back at me in the rear view mirror, perplexed and totally solemn. What was funny about Jesus giving chocolate?
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    He is so cute... That is one to write in his "baby book"
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Soooo cute! I can just picture it!