The Earliest Easter in Your Lifetime

Easter comes early this year, which means many churches are also preparing for an early Lenten season. (Ash Wednesday is on February 6, 2008, only several weeks away!) Unless you were around for Easter back in 1913, this will be the earliest Easter in your lifetime. This year Easter falls on March 23, which is the second earliest date possible. The last time Easter fell this early in the year was March 23, 1913; the next time won’t be until March 23, 2160.

Easter can take place as early as March 22 but no later than April 25. The last time Easter fell on the earliest possible date was March 22, 1818. That will not happen again until March 22, 2285. The most common date for Easter to occur is April 19. Here is a list of the nearest past and future occurrences of Easter falling on either March 22/23 or April 24/25:

  • March 22, 1818
  • April 24, 1859
  • March 23, 1913
  • April 25, 1943
  • March 23, 2008
  • April 24, 2011
  • April 25, 2038
  • March 22, 2285

Calculating the date of Easter is no simple task. The cycle of Easter dates does not repeat until after exactly 5,700,000 years! For more information on how the date of Easter is determined, see the brief article: Determining the Dates for Easter and Passover.

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4 Comments

  1. The Reverend Dr. Ervin G. Roorda says:

    How often have Mother’s Day and the Day of Pentecost fallen on the same day?
    I have been a Presbyterian pastor for 45 years, and I cannot recall this ever happening during my lifetime–I will be 70 later this year!

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    “How often have Mother’s Day and the Day of Pentecost fallen on the same day?”

    Well, let’s see, the last time Easter fell this early was 95 years ago in 1913. I think I read somehwere that this year (2008) is the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day. So it may only have happened once before.

  3. Eddie Sonyer says:

    Actually, since Pentecost is always 50 days after Easter (inclusive), and Mother’s Day is always the Second Sunday in May, Pentecost will fall on Mother’s Day if Easter happens between March 22 and March 26. The last time this happened before 2008 was 1989, so it’s actually more common than you’re remembering.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Why Are Easter and Passover a Month Apart in 2008? at Ray Fowler .org

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