The Seasonal Almanac shares astronomical and nature events, this issue includes information on calculating the date of Easter and about the first Easter observed.
When was the last time that a full moon occurred on Easter?
Bearing these rules in mind, we find that Easter can happen as early as March 22 or as late as April 25.
In 2000, the date of Easter falls on April 23. The last time Easter came this late, or later, was in 1943, when it was celebrated on April 25. In 2011, Easter will occur on April 24, and the next time it will happen on the latest date possible (April 25) is in 2038. The last time that Easter was observed on its earliest date, March 22, was way back in 1818, and this will not happen again until 2285! In 2008, however, Easter will fall on March 23, the earliest it has been since 1913.
An entirely different question is the date of the first Easter. Scholars have narrowed down the possible dates of the Crucifixion: Most are convinced Jesus was killed on either Friday, April 7, in A.D. 30 or Friday, April 3, in A.D. 33. My own studies incline me to believe in the latter date. If that is correct, then the first Easter — what some Christians now call "Resurrection Sunday" — occurred on Sunday, April 5, in A.D. 33.