Easter might sound very far away, especially considering the wintry weather and snow which hit parts of the UK today, but it is actually very soon. Easter is a bank holiday weekend which begins with Good Friday and ends with the Easter Monday bank holiday. So when are Good Friday and Easter Sunday this year?
When is Easter 2020?
This week marked the beginning of Lent, which is the 40-day countdown to Easter.
Easter is one of the biggest celebrations in the Christian calendar.
This year, Easter Sunday falls on Sunday, April 12.
Therefore Good Friday will be on April 10 and Easter Monday bank holiday is on April 13.
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Christians in the East use the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar which is used in the West.
As a result of these differences, the full moon and equinox are calculated according to a different date.
In 2020, Eastern churches will celebrate Easter on April 19, a week after Western churches.
The date of Easter at times falls on the same day for both churches, which will happen next in 2025.
Why does the date of Easter change each year?
The date for Easter Sunday changes each year, for instance, this year Easter Sunday will be on April 12, but next year it will take place on April 4.
In Western Christianity, Easter Sunday must always follow the first full moon after the spring equinox.
In 2020, the paschal full moon, which is the moon which falls on or after the spring equinox on March 21, will rise on April 8.
Easter Day is the first Sunday after the paschal full moon, so if the full moon is on a Sunday, Easter will be held a week later.
The earliest Easter can ever be will be March 22, while the latest it would ever be is April 25.
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Why is Easter celebrated?
Many Christians celebrate Easter Sunday as the day of Jesus Christ’s resurrection and the end of Lent.
Christians believe Jesus was crucified on Good Friday after being betrayed by Judas and he was then sentenced to death.
After his crucifixion, his body was placed in a tomb by Roman soldiers, who covered the entrance with an enormous stone.
Three days later Mary Magdalene, later followed by some of Jesus’s disciples, discovered the tomb was empty.
His followers believe Jesus was resurrected on this day, which is now known as Easter Sunday.
How to celebrate Easter?
There are several traditions associated with Easter including:
- Painting eggs
- Having an Easter egg hunt
- Make Easter baskets
- Make rabbit or chick themed baked goods
- Decorate your home
- Having an Easter meal
- Reading the Easter story from the bible.