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Reason Easter Comes So Late This Year

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

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In most years, Easter is observed either late in the month of March or in early April. In 2022, Easter is celebrated on April 17. That is late compared to April 4 when it was celebrated last year. Let's examine why the holiday comes later this year.

Easter is known as a "removable holiday." That's because the date changes from year to year. It has no set date like some other holidays. However, you can count on it to be either in March or April and not in any of the other months.

Easter's date is different from the other holidays that do not have movable dates. The following observances do not depend on the moon or a specific day of the week for an official or unofficial holiday to be observed.

  • January 1: New Year's Day
  • February 14: Valentine's Day
  • March 17: St. Patrick's Day
  • June 19: Juneteenth
  • July 4: Independence Day
  • October 31: Halloween
  • November 11: Veterans Day
  • December 24: Christmas Eve
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 31: New Year's Eve

Why Is Easter on April 17, 2022?

Even though Easter has no set date on the calendar, it usually comes on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25. This year, it comes on the next to the last Sunday in that time period. The last time Easter fell on the earliest possible date was on March 22, 1818, and the next time will be in 2285. The most recent time the holiday was observed in March was on March 27, 2016. The most recent time Easter was observed later than this year was on April 21, 2019.

The celebration of Easter always comes on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs after the spring equinox on March 20. This year, the full moon is on Saturday, April 16. Therefore, Easter is the very next day.

For Easter to be observed, the following two events must have taken place:

  • Spring equinox (March 20, 2022)
  • Full moon (April 16, 2022)
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Answers to Questions About Easter Dates

What are the most often celebrated dates for Easter?

Over the last 500 years, Easter has been most often celebrated on either March 31 or April 16.

Is April 17, the latest date for Easter?

Even though Easter will be celebrated on April 17, 2022, it is not the latest that it will ever be celebrated. Easter will be celebrated even later in 2025 on April 20. It is rare for Easter to be have been celebrated on April 23 through April 25, but it has happened.

What is the earliest date for Easter?

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The earliest three Easter dates are March 22, March 23, and March 24.

What is the rarest date for Easter?

The rarest date for Easter is March 23.

Are the dates to celebrate Easter the same all over the world?

Easter is not celebrated on the same date all over the world. That's because everyone does not use the same calendar.

Christian churches in Western countries use the Gregorian calendar. Christian churches in Eastern countries use the Julian calendar. Easter is not the only holiday that is celebrated on different days around the world. In fact, almost all holidays are celebrated on days different from the dates they are celebrated in the United States.

Year of Easter ObservanceDate of Easter

2016

March 27 (last time in March)

2019

April 21 (later than it is in 2022)

2021

April 4 (last year)

2022

April 17

2023

April 9

2024

March 31

2025

April 20

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About Easter

Now that we know why the dates of Easter are not fixed, let's review what we know about Easter that is fixed and never changes.

Easter is the most sacred holiday on the Christian calendar because Jesus rose from the dead on that date. December 25 is also an important date for Christians because that's the celebrated date of Jesus' birth.

Even though Easter or Resurrection Sunday is observed, there are some events leading up to that day.

  • Ash Wednesday, the Beginning of Lent
  • Lent
  • Palm Sunday
  • Holy Week (Jesus' final week on earth)
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday (Jesus was crucified)
  • Easter or Resurrection Sunday (Jesus rose from the dead)

All of the above events are important for Christians, and we must take into account all that happened led up to what happened on Resurrection Sunday. Jesus died on the cross to take the sting out of death for us. He rose from the dead as a guarantee that we, too, will be resurrected from the dead. Jesus was our example, and He took the victory out of the grave.

“O death, where is thy sting?

O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:55)

References

When Is Easter?

Why Does Easter Move Around?

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