April 23rd, 2011
|09:17 am - Easter time|
In 2008 Easter was on the 23rd March - just about the earliest it can be - and this year it is on the 24th April - just about the latest it can be*. What make this particularly memorable to me is that 23rd March is my daughter's birthday and 24th April is H's birthday. Don't know why I post this, but it just is such a striking oddity.
Snopes discussion of these dates.
* Easter falls on (more or less) the Sunday following the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox (21st March). And this timing in turn is derived from the timing of Passover. However, in practice Christians use calculated 'golden number' tables, not natural observation, to time Easter. I think this shows a big difference between modern and ancient religion.
|Date:||April 23rd, 2011 09:24 am (UTC)|| |
Even despite the tables, it amuses me, as a half-Christian, half-pagan person, that Christianity still in a sense times its biggest festival by the equinoxes and solstices. They are a lot more tree-huggy than they care to admit. :)
Tree-huggyness seems to be one of those dimensions where there is a lot of difference between Christians.
I've never understood why they calculate Easter that way rather than just having say the first weekend after the start of Passover (15 Nissan by the Jewish calendar).
Ah, I kind of assumed it boiled down to the same thing. I suppose some kind of mediaeval decision to break the connection to Judaism?
|Date:||April 23rd, 2011 12:45 pm (UTC)|| |
I'm not sure but I don't think so. I know Easter dates to around Passover because obviously Jesus was in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover when he was captured and murdered. I think the controversy over the date of Easter dates back to the argument between the Eastern and Western churches over the fixing of the date on either the date of Passover or the date of the Resurrection, respectively, although that was back in the second century after Jesus's death and the whole controversy has taken a lot of twists and turns since then.
No, she is right. Originally Easter was set at Passover. Christians would consult the local Jewish community for the date, which differed from place to place. During the fourth century there was a falling out between the two faiths, and the Council of Nicaea in 325 promulgated the way we calculate it today.
|Date:||April 24th, 2011 08:14 am (UTC)|| |
Sure, the Council in 325 did make a declaration that influences how we calculate the date of Easter to this day, that's quite right. Quite possibly that calculation was at least partly to do with breaking away from Jewish practices, I wouldn't be surprised. But controversy to do with the Easter date definitely goes back more than a century before that Council, to the time of Pope Victor I, according to Eusebius. In fact, there was controversy about the date of Easter at least a couple of generations before Victor I, but as far as I know, he was the first papal figure to start excommunicating bishops over it. :D
I suppose they didn't want to use the calendar, but why reinvent the wheel? It sometimes coincides, like with this year (Passover started last Monday evening).
BTW a friend I often went yachting with once said before an Easter trip, "There'll be a full moon. It's odd how it always seems to be a full moon at Easter." I laughed and said that's how it's calculated, though I had no idea of the details.
Edited at 2011-04-24 12:33 am (UTC)
I remember being strangely delighted one year when Easter fell on my brother's birthday (March 26th) - I think it was the first time I'd known it so early, and it seemed like a special exception, just for him.
Happy birthday tomorrow to H - I hope it's a good day for him, and for all of you.
Thanks we have got a big family party.