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.