How Is the Date of Easter Determined?


Quick Answer

In the modern Western calendar, the date for Easter falls between March 22nd and April 25th. The tables for determining which date are complicated and rely in part on the lunar calendar.

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Full Answer

The Easter calculations rely on an "ecclesiastical full moon," which does not follow the exact lunar cycle but is meant to simulate it. Easter is set to be on the Sunday after the first "ecclesiastical full moon" following the spring equinox, which was set to be March 21st. The Eastern churches, however, use an older computational method reliant on the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar, so Easter is usually celebrated on a different day in those faith systems. The calculations used to determine Easter are called the "computus."

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