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Celebrating Easter

If you wonder why Easter is this on this date in 2014 and moves around anywhere between the 22nd March and 25th April then look no further than the First Council of Nicea.

Yes, back in 325AD when Constantine the Great gathered some one hundred religious leaders at a meeting which some theologians will tell you invented the concept of Christianity, decided that Easter, that celebrates the resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion, would be celebrated on first full moon after the vernal equinox.

It is though not quite as simple as that as the dates are calculated with the old Gregorian calendar which is thirteen days out of sync with the modern version and that the moon is not the astronomical one but an ecumenical full moon and the two dates can vary by as much as two days.

Confused? Well there is more, Back in 325 AD, the council decided that Easter would always be celebrated after the Jewish festival of Passover, because the bible clearly states that the death, birth and resurrection of Jesus all happened after this feast.

Meanwhile back to the calendars.The Julian calendar of 21 March, the date of the March equinox, by which the date of the Ecumenical moon is fixed, corresponds with the 3rd April in the Gregorian calendar. Orthodox Christians who follow the later will therefore find that Easter could fall anytime between the 4th April and the 5th May.

This year, the two coincide so a Happy Easter to all our readers

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