CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Happy Easter!
What day we celebrate Easter can be hard to figure out. One year, it's in March. One year, it's in April. My niece was born on Easter, but this year, it falls almost a month before her birthday.
There is a method to the madness though. Churches don't just get together with their calendars and go around the room asking, "What does that weekend look like for you?" It's actually the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.
I know what you're thinking. That seems even more random than the church leaders getting together in a room.
According to the Bible, we don't know a date, but we know that Jesus' death and resurrection happened around the time of the Jewish Passover. That was celebrated on the first full moon after the vernal equinox. See, there is actually something to it!
Here was the problem. Early Christians were celebrating on different dates. (So they definitely weren't getting together on things.) Around the end of the second century, some were celebrating Easter on the day of the Passover and others celebrated the following Sunday.
To get everyone on the same page, the Council of Nicaea decided that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. It's delayed one week if the first full moon falls on a Sunday.
So there you go! Happy Easter!