When Is Easter 2015? Why The Date For Easter Changes Every Year

Margaret Minnicks - Author

Mar. 1 2017, Updated 2:59 a.m. ET

Easter is celebrated on Sunday, April 5, this year. Unlike other holidays, the date for Easter changes every year. That’s because Easter doesn’t have a fixed date even though it does have a fixed day. Easter also falls on a Sunday, but the date could be on any Sunday in March or April. If you have to search your calendar every year to find out the date for Easter, then you are not alone.

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Christmas always comes on December 25 no matter what day of the week it falls on. Thanksgiving is always the last Thursday in November, no matter what the date is. Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday in May, and Father’s Day is always the second Sunday in June. Valentine’s Day is always February 14. However, the date for Easter changes each year. A Christianity website explains why Easter is celebrated on any Sunday between Sunday, March 22, and Sunday, April 25.

The main reason for the Easter’s moving date is because the date is not based on the fixed calendar. Instead, the date for Easter is based on the moon. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Easter falls on different dates because Easter is based on the lunar calendar.

Easter and Passover are correlated. Even though the two celebrations come close together, the observance of Passover is always first. Because the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ happened after Passover, early believers wanted Easter to always be celebrated after Passover. Because the Jewish holiday calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, dates for both Passover and Easter move from year to year.

According to Wikipedia, Easter is a movable feast. Since Easter is not on the same date every year, the dates of other holidays associated with Easter are also affected. Examples include Ash Wednesday, Lent, Passover, Holy Week, Good Friday, Ascension Day, and Pentecost. All these holidays have to move to a different date to be synced with Easter.

Most people who keep up with days, dates, and calendars know that Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the vernal equinox, which is March 20 this year. Therefore, Easter is on April 5, the first Sunday in April. It is good to know why Easter doesn’t fall on the same date every year, but if you are unsure what date it is each year, don’t despair. You can always do what most people do. They just check the calendar.


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