When is Easter 2018 and why does the date change each year?


No one ever wonders when Christmas falls each year, but Easter Sunday is a different story.

>> Read more trending news 

The Christian holiday, which celebrates Christ’s resurrection from the dead following his crucifixion, marks the end of the Holy Week, or Lent.

When is Easter 2018?

This year’s Easter Sunday falls on April 1 and no, that’s not an April Fool’s joke.

How is the date determined?

Today, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, the full moon after the spring equinox. Once the date of the full moon is set, it’s easy to determine the date of Easter Sunday and other Easter holidays.

>> Related: It’s Lenten season: Why it’s not always good to give up things for Lent

Why Sunday?

In 325 CE, the Council of Nicaea, a gathering of Christian bishops, decided that there should be a more organized and universal way to decide when Easter would be celebrated, the AJC previously reported.

They decided that the holiday would be held the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the spring equinox, which always occurs on March 21. 

If the full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter is delayed a week.

>> Related: What is Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, and how do we celebrate?

Why does the date change each year?

The date of Easter changes, because the Paschal full moon can fall on various days in different time zones.

But because Easter falls on a Sunday after the March 21 spring equinox, it will always occur on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25. That’s also why Easter and Christian holidays leading up to that day, such as Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are referred to as “moveable feasts.”

>> Related: Ash Wednesday around the world

Do Christians celebrate Easter Sunday on the same day?

According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, the Eastern Orthodox typically celebrate Easter Sunday later than Protestants and Roman Catholics. That’s because Eastern Orthodox churches didn’t adopt the Gregorian calendar method and instead follow the Julian calendar, a solar calendar adopted by Julius Caesar in 45 BC, which is 13 days ahead of the Gregorian calendar.

>> Related: How did a bunny become the Easter symbol?

When was Easter 2017? 

Last year, Easter Sunday fell on April 16.

When will Easter 2019 be?

Next year, Easter Sunday will fall on April 21.

>> Related: Percentage of white American Christians decreasing, report says


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Dunkin' Donuts introducing Girl Scout Cookie-flavored coffees
Dunkin' Donuts introducing Girl Scout Cookie-flavored coffees

If you like flavored coffee and Girl Scout Cookies, you might be in luck. Dunkin’ Donuts has announced that by Monday, Feb. 26, it will be selling three new flavored coffees inspired by Girl Scout Cookies. >> Read more trending news  Those flavors include Thin Mints, Coconut Caramel and Peanut Butter Cookie. These flavors...
$10K reward offered for information in case of missing CDC employee
$10K reward offered for information in case of missing CDC employee

The family of a missing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worker has partnered with Crime Stoppers to offer a reward for information in the case. Timothy Cunningham, 35, was reported missing Feb. 16 after he called in sick to work Feb. 12 and has not been seen or heard from since, according to Atlanta police. Police said Cunningham's...
Florida school shooting survivor's mother says her family has received death threats
Florida school shooting survivor's mother says her family has received death threats

The mother of Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg is speaking out after her family received death threats because her son and another survivor were accused of being crisis actors. Hogg and fellow students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have made frequent media appearances to call for action on...
Student boxer dies in amateur charity event, after collapsing during fight
Student boxer dies in amateur charity event, after collapsing during fight

A Tennessee college student died in the middle of an amateur boxing match Friday night in Knoxville, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  University of Tennessee junior Tanner Wray, 20, collapsed on the mat as he was walking to his corner in the second round of his fight in the 38th annual Ace Miller Memorial Boxing Tournament...
Daredevil squirrel makes Olympic dash onto ski slope, snowboarder misses it by inches
Daredevil squirrel makes Olympic dash onto ski slope, snowboarder misses it by inches

A squirrel became an unwitting Olympic participant on Saturday when the furry rodent dashed onto the parallel giant slalom snowboarding course and barely missed being run over or sliced in half by Austrian snowboarder Daniela Ulbing. >> Read more trending news  Unfortunately for Ulbing, she wasn’t quite as lucky as the squirrel...
More Stories