The Great Easter Date Debate
Easter is the commemoration of Jesus' resurrection, universally celebrated by Christians around the world. Although how and even when Easter is celebrated varies greatly.
Both Western Churches (Roman Catholic and Protestant) and Eastern Churches (Greek and Russian Orthodox) celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox.
There are as many as five weeks between the two Easter celebrations. In the Western Church, Easter falls between late March and late April; in the Orthodox Church, it is between early April and early May.
In the 16th century, the Roman Church abandoned the Julian Calendar in favor of the Gregorian calendar. As a result, Catholic (and eventually Protestant) churches need to convert the originally Julian-based date of Easter into a Gregorian date.
Even still, it would stand to reason that the date would be the same for the two Churches, since both are based on the same Julian calendar-at least originally.
However, the two Churches also use a different system for calculating the date of the vernal equinox.
The Western Church decided to set a fixed date-March 21-for the vernal equinox and then define the full moon using ecclesiastical calculations.
The Orthodox Church, on the other hand, set the date for Easter based on the astronomical definitions of the full moon and the equinox, as they are observed along the meridian of Jerusalem.
While the Easter date debate is the most commonly cited difference between Eastern and Western Christianity, there are many other differences, as well. From the timing and content of the Easter Mass to traditional foods served at Easter, the two Churches bring their own unique take on celebrating Easter. For more on how Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox celebrate Easter, check out these articles:
When is Easter?
The Story of Easter
Christianity and The Origins of Easter
Easter Home | Letter 2 Easter Bunny | Did You Know Easter? | When is Easter? | Story of Easter
Easter/ Christianity | Lenten Season | Palm Sunday | Good Friday | Easter in Holy Land
Why Different Dates? | Greek Easter | Russian Easter | Easter Lily | Why Easter Eggs?
Easter Bunny & Eggs | The Easter Bunny | Carrot Patch | Easter Egg Games | Decorating Eggs+
Easter Egg Hunt | Make Easter Basket | Peeps & Easter | Easter Blog | Easter Crafts
Easter Coloring Pics | Easter Kids Page | Easter Recipes | eCards | Holiday Tweets
Newsletter/Text Msg | Advertise With Us | Link to Us | Contact Us | Site Map | Easter Home
© Copyright © 1995-2015, Holidays on the Net
Reproduction or other use without written consent is illegal