Easter is without a doubt one of the most important Christian festivals that is celebrated yearly. The date for the celebration of Easter is not standard like that of the likewise yearly Christmas celebrations which occurs every 25th of December. The date for Easter changes from year to year although by a slight margin often falling within the middle months of the year. The date for Easter also becomes a reference point to fix other Christian festivals that occur around the year. In this article, we consider when Easter 2019 falls and why exactly the festival is of such great importance to Christians around the world.
When is Easter 2019?
We have already pointed out that the date for Easter changes for each year, but thankfully calculations for the date for next year are done pretty early which allows for adequate planning and preparation for the celebration. Easter generally falls between the timeline of late March to late April, and the year 2019 is no different. Easter 2019 falls on April 21st. As such other holidays that are fixed with reference to Easter fall thus:
- Good Friday – April 19th
- Easter Monday – April 22nd
The date for Easter is decided by calculations that are based on the observation of the moon. The earlier church had used various other means to determine the date of Easter, but disagreements arose often out of the varied methods. In fact, the earlier disagreements have stretched on for centuries such that Eastern and Western churches actually celebrate Easter on different calendars although the dates often mesh.
Currently, the complex calculations that lead up to getting a date for Easter often take into consideration the fact that Passover begins on the night of the first full moon after the spring equinox. This reality is that this changes when leap months occur. In that case, it becomes the second full moon. Now since the full moon can vary in each time zone, Christians calculate the date for Easter using the 14th day of the ecclesiastic lunar month.
This phenomenon is known as the Paschal full moon and Easter is the Sunday that comes after the paschal full moon, which should also fall on or after the equinox. Hence, Easter Sunday is often one to seven days after the paschal full moon. Easter 2019 was decided through these same complex calculations as will every date for Easter going forward.
Why is Easter Celebrated by Christians around the World?
Asides the fact that Easter celebrations offer a holiday period which enables us to take a break from work to focus on other things that matter to us, it is special to Christians all over the world. It is a time set aside to celebrate the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible records that this great Christian event happened around the Jewish festival Passover.
Considering the fact that Jesus’ death and resurrection form a most vital part of Christian theology, it is easy to understand why the Easter celebrations hold so much importance. To celebrate Easter, churches are often filled with flowers and hymn singing to celebrate the story that we will now tell below.
Jesus Christ came to earth and on Good Friday was crucified, died and was buried. The tomb where his body lay was heavily guarded with a heavy stone put over the entrance to stop anybody from stealing the body. When some women who had been followers of Christ while he was alive visited the tomb the following Sunday, they found the stone rolled away and the tomb void of its Holy occupant. Jesus Christ was then subsequently seen that day and many days after by various people who became witnesses of His resurrection.
It is so that many years after these occurrences, Christians think and meditate about the death and suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross on Good Friday and then on Easter, they celebrate his resurrection and everything that it means for them. The hymn singing and other activities that go on in the church mark the Easter holidays in a Christian fashion, but there are some non-Christian traditions that also feature in some cultures celebration of the holiday.
Two good examples are the Easter bunny and the Easter eggs, which provide such fun traditions as the delivering of chocolates in an Easter basket by the Easter bunny or the very fun Easter egg hunts that include hiding decorated Easter eggs for participants to find.