Wikia

Calendar Wiki

Easter

Talk0
372pages on
this wiki

Origins of the name "Easter":

The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similarly, the "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." 1 Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre." Similar Goddesses were known by other names in ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and were celebrated in the springtime. Some were:

Aphrodite, named Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) and Cypris (Lady of Cyprus) after the two places which claimed her birth; 8 Ashtoreth from ancient Israel; Astarte from ancient Greece; Demeter from Mycenae; Hathor from ancient Egypt; Ishtar from Assyria; Kali, from India; and Ostara a Norse Goddess of fertility. An alternative explanation has been suggested. The name given by the Frankish church to Jesus' resurrection festival included the Latin word "alba" which means "white." (This was a reference to the white robes that were worn during the festival.) "Alba" also has a second meaning: "sunrise." When the name of the festival was translated into German, the "sunrise" meaning was selected in error. This became "ostern" in German. Ostern has been proposed as the origin of the word "Easter". 2

There are two popular beliefs about the origin of the English word "Sunday." It is derived from the name of the Scandinavian sun Goddess Sunna (a.k.a. Sunne, Frau Sonne). 5,6

It is derived from "Sol," the Roman God of the Sun." Their phrase "Dies Solis" means "day of the Sun." The Christian saint Jerome (d. 420) commented "If it is called the day of the sun by the pagans, we willingly accept this name, for on this day the Light of the world arose, on this day the Sun of Justice shone forth." 7


Easter, also known as Pascha (Greek Πάσχα: Passover), the Feast of the Resurrection, the Sunday of the Resurrection, or Resurrection Day, is the most important religious feast of the Christian liturgical year, observed between late March and late April (early April to early May in Eastern Christianity). It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, which his followers believe occurred on the third day after his death by crucifixion some time in the period AD 27 to 33 (see Good Friday). There have been numerous controversies about how to calculate when this annual celebration will fall on the calendar.

Nature and developmentEdit

Easter, also known as Pascha (Greek Πάσχα: Passover), the Feast of the Resurrection, the Sunday of the Resurrection, or Resurrection Day, is the most important religious feast of the Christian liturgical year, observed between late March and late April (early April to early May in Eastern Christianity). It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, which his followers believe occurred on the third day after his death by crucifixion some time in the period AD 27 to 33 (see Good Friday). In the Roman Catholic Church, Easter is actually an eight-day feast called the Octave of Easter.

Perhaps the earliest extant primary source referencing Easter is a 2nd century Paschal homily by Melito of Sardis, which characterizes the celebration as a well-established one.

Date of EasterEdit

Dates for Easter Sunday (incl. ISO week number), 2000–2020
Year Western Eastern
2000 April 23 (W16) April 30 (W17)
2001 April 15 (W15)
2002 March 31 (W13) May 5 (W18)
2003 April 20 (W16) April 27 (W17)
2004 April 11 (W14)
2005 March 27 (W12) May 1 (W17)
2006 April 16 (W16) April 23 (W17)
2007 April 8 (W14)
2008 March 23 (W12) April 27 (W17)
2009 April 12 (W14) April 19 (W15)
2010 April 4 (W13)
2011 April 24 (W16)
2012 April 8 (W15) April 15 (W16)
2013 March 31 (W13) May 5 (W18)
2014 April 20 (W16)
2015 April 5 (W13) April 12 (W14)
2016 March 27 (W12) May 1 (W17)
2017 April 16 (W16)
2018 April 1 (W13) April 8 (W14)
2019 April 21 (W16) April 28 (W17)
2020 April 12 (W15) April 19 (W16)

In Western Christianity, Easter always falls on a Sunday from March 22 to April 25 inclusive. The following day, Easter Monday, is a legal holiday in many countries with predominantly Christian traditions. In Eastern Christianity, Easter falls between April 4 and May 8 between 1900 and 1970 based on the Gregorian date.


Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts, in that they do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars (which follow the motion of the sun and the seasons). Instead, they are based on a lunar calendar similar—but not identical—to the Hebrew Calendar. The precise date of Easter has often been a matter for contention.


At the First Council of Nicaea in 325 it was decided that Easter would be celebrated on the same Sunday throughout the Church, but it is probable that no method was specified by the Council. (No contemporary account of the Council's decisions has survived.) Instead, the matter seems to have been referred to the church of Alexandria, which city had the best reputation for scholarship at the time. The Catholic Epiphanius wrote in the mid-4th Century, "...the emperor...convened a council of 318 bishops...in the city of Nicea...They passed certain ecclesiastical canons at the council besides, and at the same time decreed in regard to the Passover that there must be one unanimous concord on the celebration of God's holy and supremely excellent day. For it was variously observed by people..."(Epiphanius. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III (Sects 47–80), De Fide). Section VI, Verses 1,1 and 1,3. Translated by Frank Williams. EJ Brill, New York, 1994, pp.471–472).


The practice of those following Alexandria was to celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the earliest fourteenth day of a lunar month that occurred on or after March 21. While since the Middle Ages this practice has sometimes been more succinctly phrased as Easter is observed on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the vernal equinox, this does not reflect the actual ecclesiastical rules precisely. The reason for this is that the full moon involved (called the Paschal full moon) is not an astronomical full moon, but an ecclesiastical moon. Determined from tables, it coincides more or less with the astronomical full moon.


The ecclesiastical rules are:


  • Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after March 21 (the day of the ecclesiastical vernal equinox).
  • This particular ecclesiastical full moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon).


The Church of Rome used its own methods to determine Easter until the 6th century, when it may have adopted the Alexandrian method as converted into the Julian calendar by Dionysius Exiguus (certain proof of this does not exist until the ninth century). Most churches in the British Isles used a late third century Roman method to determine Easter until they adopted the Alexandrian method at the Synod of Whitby in 664. Churches in western continental Europe used a late Roman method until the late 8th century during the reign of Charlemagne, when they finally adopted the Alexandrian method. Since western churches now use the Gregorian calendar to calculate the date and Eastern Orthodox churches use the original Julian Calendar, their dates are not usually aligned in the present day.


In the United Kingdom, the Easter Act of 1928 set out legislation to allow the date of Easter to be fixed as the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April. However, the legislation was never implemented.


ComputationsEdit

The calculations for the date of Easter are somewhat complicated. See computus for a discussion covering both the traditional tabular methods and more exclusively mathematical algorithms such as the one developed by mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss.


In the Western Church, Easter has not fallen on the earliest of the 35 possible dates, March 22, since 1818, and will not do so again until 2285. However, it did fall on March 23, just one day after its earliest possible date, in 2008. Easter last fell on the latest possible date, April 25 in 1943, and will next fall on that date in 2038. However, it will fall on April 24, just one day before this latest possible date, in 2011.


Calculating EasterEdit

Epact.

Dominical Letter.

For Leap Years use the 2nd Letter.

A B C D E F G
* Apr. 16 Apr. 17 Apr. 18 Apr. 19 Apr. 20 Apr. 14 Apr. 15
1 "   16 "   17 "   18 "   19 "   13 "   14 "   15
2 "   16 "   17 "   18 "   12 "   13 "   14 "   15
3 "   16 "   17 "   11 "   12 "   13 "   14 "   15
4 "   16 "   10 "   11 "   12 "   13 "   14 "   15
5 "     9 "   10 "   11 "   12 "   13 "   14 "   15
6 "     9 "   10 "   11 "   12 "   13 "   14 "     8
7 "     9 "   10 "   11 "   12 "   13 "     7 "     8
8 "     9 "   10 "   11 "   12 "     6 "     7 "     8
9 "     9 "   10 "   11 "     5 "     6 "     7 "     8
10 "     9 "   10 "     4 "     5 "     6 "     7 "     8
11 "     9 "     3 "     4 "     5 "     6 "     7 "     8
12 "     2 "     3 "     4 "     5 "     6 "     7 "     8
13 "     2 "     3 "     4 "     5 "     6 "     7 "     1
14 "     2 "     3 "     4 "     5 "     6 Mar. 31 "     1
15 "     2 "     3 "     4 "     5 Mar. 30 "   31 "     1
16 "     2 "     3 "     4 Mar. 29 "   30 "   31 "     1
17 "     2 "     3 Mar. 28 "   29 "   30 "   31 "     1
18 "     2 Mar. 27 "   28 "   29 "   30 "   31 "     1
19 Mar. 26 "   27 "   28 "   29 "   30 "   31 "     1
20 "   26 "   27 "   28 "   29 "   30 "   31 Mar. 25
21 "   26 "   27 "   28 "   29 "   30 "   24 "   25
22 "   26 "   27 "   28 "   29 "   23 "   24 "   25
23 "   26 "   27 "   28 "   22 "   23 "   24 "   25
24 Apr. 23 Apr. 24 Apr. 25 Apr. 19 Apr. 20 Apr. 21 Apr. 22
25 "   23 "   24 "   25 "   19 "   20 "   21 "   22
26 "   23 "   24 "   18 "   19 "   20 "   21 "   22
27 "   23 "   17 "   18 "   19 "   20 "   21 "   22
28 "   16 "   17 "   18 "   19 "   20 "   21 "   22
29 "   16 "   17 "   18 "   19 "   20 "   21 "   15

See alsoEdit

  • Easter controversy - The controversy that is explicitly called The Easter Controversy covers many arguments concerning the proper date to celebrate Easter.

External linksEdit

Wikipedia-logo-en This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Easter. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Calendar Wikia, the text of Wikipedia is available under Creative Commons License. See Wikia:Licensing.

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki