Why on Earth Does Easter Move?

Why on Earth Does Easter Move?

Why does Easter move each year? We were wondering, so we set about finding out why this happens.

We ask the important questions at Easter time!

When’s Easter this year? The question that gets thrown around here far too much for a chocolate company. For a chocolate company the time Easter falls each year has quite a big impact on us.

As soon as we return from our Christmas break we can be hit by a wash of Easter egg production or we have this bizarre lull for a couple of weeks until the reality of Easter Eggs begins, so why does it move?

Easter can fall anywhere in between 22nd March to the 25th April and ideally, we’d love it to fall on the same day every year, but instead it’s vaguely complex reason as to when this fall each year.

Unknown to some, the date of Easter is determined by the sun and the moon! Every spring, we have the Spring Equinox which is signified by the moment the Sun crossed the equator from the south to the north. The following full moon that takes place after this event is called the Paschal full moon and Easter must fall on the Sunday which follows this full moon.

This fairly complex calculation in order to identify the date of Easter stems from no date being officially set in the bible. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus after his death, which was said to have happened around the Jewish Passover. The Jewish Passover is celebrated on the Paschal Moon each year, and as such, it was decided that Easter would be celebrate on the Sunday following the Paschal Moon. Therefor it goes, Spring Equinox takes place, then the next full moon happens (Paschal Moon), then the following Sunday is Easter. However, if the Paschal Full Moon actually falls on a Sunday, Easter is then delayed until the following Sunday, often resulting in very late Easters.

A bizarre twist is that the council fixed the date of the Equinox to the 21st March, which is the date it happened in 325AD, and drew up a set of tables defining the full moon. The full moon dates drawn up do not actually line up with the astronomical full moon. This amusingly can mean that Easter can technically fall before the before the Paschal Full Moon Passover!

This year we see the latest Easter for 19 years, as it falls on 21st April.

Along with the question of “When’s Easter this year?”, often after packing many, many Easter eggs a slightly “Easter-ed Out” blerrie eyed team member at The Chocolate Society will ask “Hang on, why do we even eat Chocolate Eggs at Easter?” It’s a valid question, as it feels chocolate has a somewhat tenuous link to the resurrection of Jesus!

The symbol of the egg has long been associated with rebirth, new life and new beginnings, (and so, immediately we see the link back to rebirth of Jesus), with the tradition of gifting eggs (hen or duck eggs) at Easter dating back to the 13th Century. Over time, these eggs were decorated with natural dyes, charcoal and eventually in the Victorian times, eggs were given with candy and chocolate. By the time the 19th Century came around, Chocolate Easter eggs were being produced in France and Germany and the tradition of the Chocolate egg had hatched!

Each Easter at The Chocolate Society, we aim to offer unique and delicious Easter eggs, with eye catching designs, which make the perfect way to celebrate Easter and can be thoroughly enjoyed by all chocoholics!

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