The date of Easter is thus linked to several astronomical cycles, and it is here that the difficulties arise.
The lunar month is currently about 29.53 days long, and the solar year about 365.24 days long.
With the Lenten season upon us, it seems only fitting to devote this 96th, and my final, column to Easter.
Christmas always falls on December 25, but Easter is quite another matter.
Easter, the day Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is observed on the first Sunday after the "Pascal Full Moon" (the first full moon of spring) following the spring equinox.
There is now widespread consensus that the word derives from the Christian designation of Easter week as , a festival of spring.Therefore Easter can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25.That is also why Easter and church holidays leading up to that day, like Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are referred to as "moveable feasts."But the Eastern Orthodox churches did not adopt the Gregorian calendar method of determining Easter's date and instead follows the Julian calendar, a solar calendar adopted by Julius Caesar in 45 BC.The two churches vary on the definition of the vernal equinox and the full moon.The Eastern Church sets the date of Easter according to the actual, astronomical full moon and the actual equinox as observed along the meridian of Jerusalem, site of the Crucifixion and Resurrection.