The Customs of Easter

Date of Easter

Unlike Christmas, Easter is not celebrated on the same day every year. Like Christmas, which many agree is not celebrated on the actual birth of Jesus, Easter is not celebrated on the exact date of Jesus' death or resurrection. It is, however, celebrated at the same time of year that Jesus Christ died, the time of the Jewish Passover. The Bible states that Christ celebrated Passover with his disciples. After they ate the Passover feast they went to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was arrested. He was tried, condemned, and executed that same day. Three days later He rose from the dead.

Early Christians commemorated this event. The earliest recorded date of the celebration of Easter appears in the second century, but we can assume they were celebrating Easter in the church earlier than that. But even then Easter was celebrated on two different days. Jewish Christians kept Passover with a new meaning because Christ died and rose again during the Passover period. Gentile Christians, however, celebrated Easter on the Sunday after Passover because Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week.

As time went on the confusion surrounding the date to celebrate Easter grew. In A.D. 325 a group of church leaders met in Nicea. The group, called the Council of Nicea, discussed many things including the creation of the Nicene Creed and the date to celebrate Easter. That's why Easter is now celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon on or after the Vernal Equinox. Because of this Easter falls between the dates of March 22 and April 25.