FYI: Easter Is Way Earlier This Year Than Last Year

Springtime brings much-needed warmth and cheer after a cold, dark winter. That's exactly why many of us celebrate the season with pretty pastels, bursting blooms and signs of the brighter (not to mention longer) days ahead. And while it's easy to get lost in the excitement that Easter brings — Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets filled with fun, festive treats and other beloved holiday traditions — let's not forget that the day is really a symbol of something far greater for Christians everywhere: the resurrection of Jesus.

Since Easter Sunday doesn't fall on the same day each year, don't forget to take a look at the calendar before you start ironing out the details for your family's annual celebration. We've taken it one step further: Below, find out when Easter falls in 2023, plus how you can determine the date in years ahead.

When is Easter in 2023?

To figure out when Easter is celebrated, go all the way back to the very beginning of the season. Ash Wednesday, which is observed this year on Wednesday, February 22, is the official start of Lent. The Lenten season — Wednesday, February 22, to Thursday, April 6 — paves the way for the joy of Easter, preparing believers for the Christian holiday with 40 days of penance, fasting and reflection. Palm Sunday, which is celebrated this year on April 2, kicks off Holy Week. That's seven days of religious significance in the Christian faith and the final countdown to Easter Sunday. Lent officially ends on Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, which takes place three days before Easter. Christians wrap up Holy Week by observing Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Easter Sunday, of course, is the grand finale — a day when Christians rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Unlike fixed holidays like Halloween and Christmas, Easter is considered a "moveable feast" and can fall anywhere from March 22 and April 25," according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.

Easter falls on Sunday, April 9, 2023, which is considerably earlier than last year (April 17).

easter concept concept cross on sunset sky background
shuang paul wang - Getty Images

How is Easter's date determined?

Easter is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon — officially called "Paschal Full Moon" — that lands on or just after the spring equinox. This year, the first full moon after the spring equinox takes place on Thursday, April 6, which means Easter falls on the following Sunday, April 9. This year, that moon is also called the Full Pink Moon, so we know what color we're going to be wearing in its honor. If the first full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter will be celebrated the following Sunday.

Why is Easter celebrated in spring?

According to the Bible, Jesus Christ's death and resurrection took place during the Jewish Passover, which typically falls in March or April. Commonly recognized as the festival of freedom, this year's Passover begins at sundown on April 5 and ends on the evening of April 13.

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