When is Easter 2017? Why do Easter dates move every year?

Looks like Easter 2017 is near as stores and shops are decked with colorful eggs, bunnies, chicks, chocolates and other holiday décor. However, even when Easter signs are all around, the holiday is a bit tricky to predict since the dates move each year. Unlike Christmas or Valentine's Day that have exact days, Easter is a movable holiday which means dates can vary, depending on some important events.

(Wikimedia Commons/pisanki)Decorated eggs for Easter.

Easter is a Christian celebration of Jesus' resurrection as he was crucified and died on the cross on Good Friday and was raised from the dead Easter morning. Accounts from the Gospel says that Christ's crucifixion happened on Friday, April 3. Therefore, three days after could be Easter. Still, this does not seem to be the case — the date is still different every year.

A group of bishops actually decided on how Easter Sunday would go about every year. Bishops at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD agreed that Easter should be always celebrated every Sunday and it had to be the first Sunday after a full moon at Passover which was when the Last Supper was celebrated. Because the full moon could fall on any date in different time zones, the group stated that it had to be on the 14th lunar month and has to be the next full moon post Spring Equinox. Once this date is known, all the holidays may be plotted on a calendar.

Easter Sunday 2017 is on April 16, Good Friday is on April 14 and Maundy Thursday is on April 13. Aside from school breaks and extended weekend vacations, most people ask for the Easter holiday dates to find out when the next bank holidays are. Banks will be closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Bank clients should look up local bank schedules to find out if their branches have special holiday banking hours for customers for the 2017 Easter holiday.

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