Double Holiday Fun

Easter and Passover overlap again this year.

This weekend's AK Files offers some artistic events to celebrate both holidays: viewing the ancient Rylands Haggadah at the Met; and visiting the floral paintings exhibit at The Walters Museum, as shown here.

How often do the two holidays coincide?

Easter is the only Christian holiday not on a fixed date. In Western Christianity, Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon date of the year.

The early church fathers wished to keep the observance of Easter in correlation to the Jewish Passover. Because the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ happened after the Passover.

According to the Ecclesiastical tables established in 1583, the Paschal Full Moon is the first Ecclesiastical Full Moon date after March 20 (which happened to be the vernal equinox date in 325 A.D.).

The Paschal Full Moon can vary as much as two days from the date of the actual full moon, with dates ranging from March 21 to April 18. As a result, Easter dates can range from March 22 through April 25.

The Eastern Orthodox Church, in keeping with the rule established by the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325 A.D, adhered to the tradition that Easter must always fall after the Jewish Passover, since the resurrection of Christ happened after the celebration of Passover.

In the Jewish tradition, Passover must appear on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan. The Bible stipulates that the holiday and Nissan must always be in the springtime, which was the season of the Exodus. To accomplish this, the Hebrew lunar calendar sometimes has 13 months during a leap year to ensure that Nissan hits in early spring.

U.C.-Berkeley Professor, Michael Lugo has developed an algorithm which calculates that the situation we have this year occurs in 228 years of a thousand-year window -- almost a quarter of the time!

Today's newsletter hopes that our entire community is enjoying a fun and special day.

Happy Holidays,