Better late than never, I suppose, but here’s hoping everyone had a good Easter today.

Growing up, I could never understand why Easter always fell on a different day each year, rather than like “regular” holidays like the Fourth of July, or Thanksgiving. Ironically, it was some computer programming trivia that clued me in to how Easter Sunday’s date is determined:

Easter is the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.

4 Replies to “Easter”

  1. Yeah, I remember having to look up a formula for figuring out where Easter landed. It’s moderately complex to explain in English, but that translates into a convoluted 19 step formula from the math standpoint.

    And it doesn’t answer the question of "Why" only "How" 🙂 I suppose maybe the bible or another ancient document specified the date in that way and maybe we just remain faithful to that specification, but it’s still kinda gay 😉

    We had a good Easter though

  2. Heh… even better than my weak Pope theory above, this comes directly from the PHP documentation I just pointed at:

    "The date of Easter Day was defined by the Council of Nicaea in AD325 as the Sunday after the first full moon which falls on or after the Spring Equinox. The Equinox is assumed to always fall on 21st March, so the calculation reduces to determining the date of the full moon and the date of the following Sunday. The algorithm used here was introduced around the year 532 by Dionysius Exiguus. Under the Julian Calendar (for years before 1753) a simple 19-year cycle is used to track the phases of the Moon. Under the Gregorian Calendar (for years after 1753 – devised by Clavius and Lilius, and introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in October 1582, and into Britain and its then colonies in September 1752) two correction factors are added to make the cycle more accurate."

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