Easter offers us a much-needed long weekend when it falls and it is also an important date for followers of the Christian faith. The bank holidays of this time are eagerly awaited by most but it is often forgotten that each year their dates vary from the year prior.
Here’s when Easter takes place in 2023, when the bank holidays are and why the date of Easter Sunday changes every year.
When is Easter 2023?
Easter Sunday will take place on April 9 in 2023 which is just over a week earlier than the one we had in 2022 which occurred on April 17.
Good Friday will happen on Friday, April 7, which will act as a bank holiday throughout the UK. Easter Monday will fall on Monday, April 10, which will mark a four-day weekend for the rest of the UK but not Scotland that broadly does not claim it as a nationwide bank holiday although some councils like Edinburgh, Dundee and Falkirk do.
How was the date for Easter decided?
The first major church council in 325 AD, the Council of Nicaea, were the first to decide when Easter should fall every year. Following the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus after Passover, some Christians elected to mark the occasion by celebrating it at that time in what was known as the ‘month of Nisan’ which correlates to March or April.
However, other Christians of this era chose to commemorate the event on a Sunday because it was believed that this was the day that Jesus’ tomb was discovered according to the religious studies lecturer at the University of Texas, Brent Landau.
In order to resolve the conflict the Council of Nicaea concluded that Easter should fall after the first full moon after the March equinox.
Why does Easter’s date change every year?
Easter Sunday always falls after the first full moon following the Spring equinox and just as the dates of full moons differ by the year so to does Easter’s date.