(Bay Village) - Why did Easter fall on March 23rd in 2008? Some years it’s in April, others it’s in March. How is the date for Easter determined?
Jay Reynolds, director of the Schuele Planetarium in Bay Village explains that Easter is designated for the weekend following the first full moon after the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
Reynolds says sometimes the first full moon of Spring appears in March, sometimes as late as the last week in April. Full moons happen every 29 days, and you can find a chart showing which day Easter is on, for the foreseeable future.
In the western world, Easter has not fallen on the earliest of the 35 possible dates, March 22, since 1818, and will not do so again until 2285.
Easter will not occur on March 23 again until 2160. Easter last fell on the latest possible date, April 25, in 1943 and that won’t happen again until 2038. However, it will one day before the latest possible date in 2011 on April 24.
The most common date for Easter to appear is on April 19, and that’s happened 3.9% of the time, or 220,400 occurrences. The cycle of Easter dates repeats after exactly 5,700,000 years.
For the record, Easter will occur on April 12 in 2009. It won't be in March again until 2013 (March 31, 2013).