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I've just Googled Easter and wikipedia tells me Easter is on a different day in Eastern churches!

(17 Posts)
LynetteScavo Fri 29-Mar-13 17:07:50

Is this true?

So where isn't celebrating Easter this weekend? Apparently Easter is on the 5th May in the East. shock

(I guess my question is; where is the East?)

RustyBear Fri 29-Mar-13 17:10:38

Yes, it's true - I was in Romania for Easter one year, but it wasn't Easter at home. Romania is an Orthodox Church, but I can't remember offhand if it's Greek or Russian Orthodox.

RustyBear Fri 29-Mar-13 17:14:12

Actually I've just looked it up and it seems it has its own Orthodoxy. I did learn quite a bit about it when we visited my sister and BIL there (BIL was the Ambassador) but I've forgotten most of it blush

LynetteScavo Fri 29-Mar-13 17:37:29

The things you learn on t'internet!

I might just pop over to Romania for a second Easter! grin

LynetteScavo Fri 29-Mar-13 18:07:49

I've just seen on another thread Cyprus is Eastern.....I am actually quite shock to learn Easter is on a different day in some places.

So, the orthodox countries are: Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, F.Y.R Macedonia, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Moldova.

I now see why Russians in my town aren't particularly interested in sending their DC to Catholic schools. I think. hmm

scaevola Fri 29-Mar-13 18:22:50

It's 5 May for Copts too.

RustyBear Fri 29-Mar-13 18:40:40

This was the Church in Miclosoara in Transylvania where we were staying at Easter 2003.

steppemum Fri 29-Mar-13 21:57:15


It comes from when europe changed to the gregorian calendar (the calendar we use now) In order to make the change, we had to 'loose' about 10 days. So our calendar jumped from 1st April to the 10th (don't actually know the dates, but you get the idea)

The orthodox church, and also most of the 'east' didn't changed they continued on the old calendar. The countries eventually changed but the church didn't. So orthodox churches celebrate 'new year' and christmas and easter etc all according to the old calendar.

That is a somewhat simplistic version, but just the general idea.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Fri 29-Mar-13 22:16:57

Ummm... It has nothing to do with calendar changes or indeed Christianity in this country. 'Easter Sunday' here is defined as the first Sunday after the the full moon following the Spring Equinox. Regardless of what date it happens to say on your calendar, Easter is calculated based on the moon and the sun.

EskSmith Fri 29-Mar-13 22:40:34

My DH was christened Orthodox. His family celebrate 2 easters smile I was very confused when I first experienced it - DH thinks it is completely normal!

This is informative smile

steppemum Fri 29-Mar-13 23:55:30

Thanks for that link Esk - I knew it was something to do with the two calendars! Still not sure I understand how the date can be dependent on the moon and on the calendar at the same time??

sashh Sat 30-Mar-13 04:13:15

I was once watching a documentary that said something had happened on Xmas day in Moscow.

But they didn't say which, so it could have been 25th December or 6th January. Drove me so potty that I couldn't watch the thing.

Still not sure I understand how the date can be dependent on the moon and on the calendar at the same time??

Because it starts with the first full moon after a certain date, Xmas I think, could be wrong.

Cuddledup Sat 30-Mar-13 08:27:06

My mum says she may celebrate orthodox Easter as at least by May 5th there's a chance the weather may have improved and it'll finally feel like spring!

RustyBear Sat 30-Mar-13 08:38:49

Actually the difference does relate to the diffence in the calendar, because the spring equinox is defined as 21 March, not as the actual day and night which are in fact equal.

Also the 'ecclesiastical full moon' which is used is also not necessarily the actual date of the observed full moon but is worked out according to a table which is based on lunar months, not solar ones. The Gregorian and Julian calendars use different ways of correcting the difference between the lunar and solar calendar, so sometimes Easter is calculated using a different full moon, because it has to be the one that falls next after the equinox.

Disclaimer: this is a very basic simplification of a complex method of calculation.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Sat 30-Mar-13 08:55:29

because the spring equinox is defined as 21 March

Not it's not, the spring equinox can occur between the 19th and 21st March. The calendar is irrelevant, you could create a new calendar and call it the 15th of Flibflab and the equinox would still occur at the same time, when the point of the directly overhead sun falls on the equator.

If Easter is celebrated at a different time in different countries then they must use a different calculation not a different calendar.

RustyBear Sat 30-Mar-13 09:37:01

It is defined as the 21st of March in the calculations used to set the date of Easter - that's what I meant when I said 'not the actual day and night which are in fact equal' ie not the actual equinox (which as you say can be between 19th and 21st) If they used the actual equinox and the actual full moon Easter would be on the same day in both churches but on a different date But they don't, so it is often (not always) at a different time.

thanksamillion Sat 30-Mar-13 13:30:27

I'm in Moldova and it isn't Easter here until May.

As I think you worked out, most Romanian Orthodox people are Romanian Orthodox. Here in Moldova some are Romanian and some are Russian.

Just to add to the confusion the protestant church here celebrates easter at the same time as the Orthodox (for practical reasons I think) although they celebrate Christmas in December. Whereas in Romania most people celebrate Christmas in December and don't bother so much with January. hmm

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