As a lot of you already know, Easter, Palm Sunday and Ash Wednesday dates are never the same every year. For some years, it falls in March, for others it could be in April. For some of you, who have always wondered why this is so, INFORMATION NIGERIA in this piece brings you 6 things you must know about these feasts…
1. Because of the complications which was encountered in calculating the date of Passover and the fact that Christians didn’t like being dependent on the pronouncements of Rabbis for how to celebrate Christian feasts, they came up with another way of determining the date. They decided that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after (never on) the Paschal full moon.
2. Easter, the day Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is observed on the first Sunday after the “Pascal Full Moon” (the first full moon of spring, which is the first full moon on or after March 21) following the spring equinox.
3. According to a decree by the early Christian Church at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582, that day always occurs on March 21.
4. Therefore Easter can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25. That is also why Easter and church holidays leading up to that day, like Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are referred to as “moveable feasts.”
5. As for Palm Sunday (the sixth Sunday of Lent) you start with the date of Easter and back up one week: It is the Sunday before Easter Sunday.
6. And as for Ash Wednesday (which was last Wednesday), you start with the date of Easter Sunday, back up six weeks (that gives you the first Sunday of Lent), and then back up four more days: Ash Wednesday is the Wednesday before the first Sunday of Lent.
If you didn’t know, now you do… thanks to us!!!