When is Easter 2023? How the holiday's date each year is determined and why some celebrate.
For many Christians, Easter is an important holiday within their faith. The holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, occurring after the end of the 40-day period known as Lent.
Church services and prayer are some ways that people observe the holiday. In other cases, some enjoy a more secular celebration of Easter with bunnies, baskets and colorful eggs.
Easter falls on a different day each year. So, when does it occur in 2023? Here's what to know about Easter 2023, plus some info on its history and why it's celebrated.
When is Easter?
Easter is Sunday, April 9, 2023. The date of the holiday changes depending on the year. In short, Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the first full moon on or after March 21.
Western Christianity uses the Gregorian calendar. As a result, Easter typically falls on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25.
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In Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the date of Easter also differs. This year, it falls on April 16, 2023.
History of Easter
Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the last day of the Holy Week, consisting of several days — each with their own significance. These include:
Palm Sunday: commemorating when Jesus entered Jerusalem
Holy Thursday: commemorating the Last Supper and washing of feet
Good Friday: commemorating Jesus' crucifixion and death
Easter Sunday: commemorating the resurrection of Jesus
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Why do we celebrate Easter?
Easter is celebrated to remember the sacrifices of Jesus Christ. As a result, most Christians will go to Church services and pray in observance. Other aspects of holiday, such as Easter eggs, also derive from Christian traditions.
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The colorful Easter eggs you decorate with your family are actually symbols of new life and rebirth. Ancient Christian communities in Mesopotamia would stain eggs red to represent the blood of Christ, which was shed at the crucifixion. The eggs also signify the empty tomb of Jesus.
As for the Easter bunny, its origins are not necessarily rooted in Christianity. The exact origins of the anthropomorphic rabbit are not clear. However, since ancient times, the hare has been said to represent rebirth.
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German Lutherans used the "Easter Hare" during the Easter season similar to Santa Claus' role during Christmas. This rabbit would gift baskets of toys and candy to good children the night before Easter.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Easter 2023: When is Easter this year and why it's celebrated