Astronomical and Gregorian Easter Sunday

The date of Easter Sunday is defined as the first Sunday that falls after the full moon, sometimes called the Easter or Paschal Full Moon, that occurs after the spring equinox. As the precise computation of the moments of the spring equinox and the astronomical full moon is complex and laborious the determination of Easter Sunday has always been based on a simplified method.

The date of the spring equinox is hereby fixed as 21 March and the ‘ecclesiastical’ full moon dates are obtained from a table based on the mean motions of the sun and the moon. The Easter Full Moon is the tabular full moon that occurs on or after 21 March and the first Sunday that occurs afterwards is Easter Sunday. The earliest possible date for Easter Sunday is thus 22 March, which can only occur when the Easter Full Moon falls on Saturday 21 March.

As the astronomical spring equinox can actually occur on 19, 20 or 21 March and the astronomical full moon can also fall a day earlier or later than its mean tabular date it sometimes happens that the Easter date, as computed from the true motions of the sun and the moon, differs from the date as determined from the ecclesiastical rules.

The following tables list the years between 1583 and 2500 when the dates of astronomical Easter Sunday and Gregorian Easter Sunday are different. The tables are based on Jean Meeus, Mathematical Astronomy Morsels (Richmond: Willmann-Bell, 1997), pp. 364-366 and Mathematical Astronomy Morsels V (Richmond: Willmann-Bell, 2009), p. 390.

From 1583 to 2000

Year Easter Sunday Year Easter Sunday
  Gregorian   Astronomical   Gregorian   Astronomical
1590 22 April 25 March 1825   3 April 10 April
1598 22 March 29 March 1829 19 April 26 April
1609 19 April 26 April 1845 23 March 30 March
1622 27 March   3 April 1876 16 April   9 April
1629 15 April   8 April 1900 15 April 22 April
1666 25 April 21 March 1903 12 April 19 April
1685 22 April 25 March 1923   1 April   8 April
1693 22 March 29 March 1924 20 April 23 March
1700 11 April   4 April 1927 17 April 24 April
1724 16 April   9 April 1943 25 April 28 March
1744   5 April 29 March 1954 18 April 25 April
1778 19 April 12 April 1962 22 April 25 March
1798   8 April   1 April 1967 26 March   2 April
1802 18 April 25 April 1974 14 April   7 April
1818 22 March 29 March 1981 19 April 26 April

From 2001 to 2500

Year Easter Sunday Year Easter Sunday
  Gregorian   Astronomical   Gregorian   Astronomical
2019 21 April 24 March 2296 19 April 22 March
2038 25 April 28 March 2299 16 April 23 April
2045   9 April   2 April 2316 16 April   9 April
2049 18 April 25 April 2336   5 April 29 March
2057 22 April 25 March 2339 26 March   2 April
2069 14 April   7 April 2353 22 March 26 April
2076 19 April 22 March 2372 26 March 23 April
2089   3 April 27 March 2390   8 April   1 April
2095 24 April 27 March 2394 17 April 24 April
2096 15 April   8 April 2410 25 April 28 March
2106 18 April 25 April 2417   2 April   9 April
2114 22 April 25 March 2421 18 April 25 April
2119 26 March   2 April 2429 22 April 25 March
2133 19 April 22 March 2437 22 March 29 March
2147 16 April 23 April 2448 19 April 22 March
2150 12 April 19 April 2451 16 April 23 April
2170   1 April   8 April 2467 24 April 27 March
2171 21 April 24 March 2468 15 April   8 April
2174 17 April 24 April 2471   5 April 12 April
2190 25 April 28 March 2486 21 April 24 March
2201 19 April 26 April 2488   4 April 28 March
2221 15 April   8 April 2491 25 March   1 April
2245 13 April 20 April 2492 13 April 20 April
2277 22 April 25 March 2495 10 April 17 April

According to the traditional Easter reckoning, both Dionysian and Gregorian, the extreme possible dates for Easter Sunday are 22 March and 25 April.

In the astronomical reckoning, however, Easter Sunday can occur as early as 21 March (as in 1666) and as late as 26 April (as in 1609, 1829, 1981, 2201 and 2353). Even 20 March is a possible date in the astronomical reckoning, when the spring equinox falls on 19 March and the full moon later on the same date (being a Saturday). However, in the period considered here (1583-2500) this never happens.


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