Why are Easter and Passover not close to each other this year?

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My very vague understanding is that the two celebrations are related because the Last Supper was a Passover Seder. With that in mind how come Easter is occurring nearly a whole month before Passover this year?

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8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because Jews and Christians (classicly) dont use the same calendar. Passover is on the 15 of Nissan the first month of the Hebrew calender and easter is calculated to be on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the march equinox (march 21 first). To go a bit deeper the Hebrew calender has in most years just 354 days instead of the 365 days of the gregorian calendar, because they follow the moon cycle. But every two or three years an extra month is added to get back into rhythm with the sun year. So both dates are calculated based on the moon but since the length of the years differe Easter and Passover also differ.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The key thing here is that the Jewish religious (Hebrew) calendar is lunar based and hasn’t changed since 1178 CE, where as the Gregorian calendar (the one you most likely use) went into effect in 1582 and is solar based.

So while the two holidays are linked in the way you mention the date of them differs and from the perspective of the Gregorian calendar Passover “wanders”. The same thing happens with the Islamic calendar.

There is a ton more to be said on the topic, but thats the TL:DR simplified version.

* [Hebrew calendar – wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar)
* [Gregorian calendar – wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar)

Anonymous 0 Comments

The Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar meaning it follows the lunar cycles and not the suns cycles like the Gregorian calendar that is most common. This is why Easter and Passover always happens on a full moon. The start of the year is usually at spring equinox so the Church calculates Easter from spring equinox. However the Hebrew calendar is a bit more complex. Because there are 12 months in the calendar and there are sometimes 13 full moons a year they need to add an extra leap month every few years. Spring equinox can land in this leap month pushing back Passover an entire lunar cycle.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In the West, Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring. Equinox was a week ago and it was full moon was last Saturday so Easter is next Sunday.

Passover is on the 15th of the month of Nissan in the Jewish calendar. Nissan starts on April 9th (in Gregorian calendar) this year.

So Passover is moving every year in the Gregorian calendar because the Gregorian and Jewish calendars don’t have the same number of days.

Easter is moving every year because the Gregorian calendar is solar based but the celebration is based on a mix of solar and lunar conditions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

To add even more confusion, orthodox Christian religions like Greek Orthodox churches put Easter at a different time too. They use the Julian Calendar to figure when it is (May 5 this year) instead of the Gregorian calendar the rest of the world uses.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The Jewish calendar, like the Islamic calendar, is a lunar calendar. But 12 lunar months comes out to 354 days, so the calendar drifts backwards about a third of a month each year. However, there is a verse that states that Passover is in the spring, so approximately every 3 years (7 times per 19 years of you want to be specific) there is a leap month added to bring things back into sync. There is no similar verse concerning Ramadan, so the Islamic calendar just loses 11 days every year and they’re fine with it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, but it’s kept in sync with the (solar) seasons by means of adding a new month every few years to stop it from getting too far behind (so formally, it’s a lunisolar calendar). Each month starts at a new moon.

Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox. Usually the first full moon after the equinox falls during the Jewish month of Nisan (when Passover falls), but that’s not always the case.

Passover is unusually late this year, because this year is a leap year in the Jewish calendar, where we added an extra month (Adar II*) right before Nisan.

Easter is also unusually early this year, since there was a full moon like two days after the equinox.

This year, Easter Sunday falls on the 21st of Adar II when converted to the Jewish calendar (Passover is the next month, the 15th of Nisan through the 21st of Nisan). Easter will always be around the 14th to 21st of some Jewish month, since it falls in the week after a full moon (a full moon marks the middle of a Jewish month); I believe it will always fall during either Adar (II) or Nisan.

Basically, the calculations used to keep the Jewish calendar in sync with the seasons don’t try to keep the full moon after the equinox always during Nisan, so it sometimes ends up the month before.

(*Technically, what happens is that the month of Adar gets split into two months, Adar I and Adar II. Really Adar I is the “extra” one, since holidays and the like that fall during Adar are celebrated in Adar II)

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just to clarify, though: the Last Supper was not a Passover Seder. In Jesus’ time, the Temple in Jerusalem still stood, so Passover observance was centered around an animal sacrifice. After the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in the year 70, the surviving rabbis created the Seder as a home-based observance of the holiday. Easter definitely borrows from Passover (the sacrifice of a different lamb), but there’s no evidence that the Last Supper was a Seder.