Interesting “Facts” About Easter

Here are some interesting facts about Easter someone sent me.

Q. Here are some interesting facts about Easter someone sent me.

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is pretty rare. Here’s the interesting info. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier!

The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year! How about that?

A. The person who sent you this is wrong about the dating of Easter. It is connected to the Spring Equinox but is not related to Passover.

It was designed to replace the pagan Feast of Ishtar, a fertility goddess, which occurred at the time of the Spring Equinox. That’s how Easter got its name and why colored eggs and rabbits, symbols of fertility, came to be part of it. Some of the pagan rituals most abhorrent to God were part of the Feast of Ishtar.

When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire they simply replaced the pagan festival with a Christian one, keeping many of the pagan rituals. (The Romans did the same thing with Christmas which had been the Feast of Saturnalia.)

The dating of Passover is done by counting off 14 days after the first day of Nisan, the first month on the Jewish calendar. Months are based on phases of the moon, each month beginning with the so called crescent moon.

The Feast of First Fruits comes on the day after the Sabbath after Passover which means it’s always a Sunday since their sabbath is Saturday. In the year Jesus was crucified the Feast of First Fruits was three days after Passover and became known as Resurrection Morning in the early church. If you want to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection on the anniversary of its occurrence do so on the first Sunday after Passover. This year (2008) Passover is April 20 on our calendar.

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