Springtime brings much-needed warmth and cheer after a chilled winter. That's exactly why we all bring in spring with sprightly pastels, bursting blooms and signs of the brighter (and longer) days ahead. And while it's easy to get lost in the excitement that Easter brings — Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets filled to the brim, festive treats and other beloved holiday traditions — let's not forget that the holiday is really a symbol of something far greater for Christians everywhere: the resurrection of Jesus.
Since Easter Sunday doesn't always fall on the same day each year, it's important to take a look at the calendar before you start ironing out the details for your family's celebration. We've taken it one step further: Below, find out when Easter falls in 2022, plus how you can determine the date in the future.
When is Easter in 2022?
To figure out when Easter is celebrated, go all the way back to the very beginning. Ash Wednesday, which is observed on Wednesday, March 2, is the official start of Lent. The Lenten season — Wednesday, March 2, to Thursday, April 14 — leads the way for Easter, preparing believers for the Christian holiday with 40 days of penance and fasting. Palm Sunday, which is celebrated on April 10, kicks off Holy Week — seven days of religious significance in the Christian faith and the final countdown to Easter. Lent officially ends on Maundy Thursday, three days before Easter. Following Maundy Thursday, Christians wrap up Holy Week by observing Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Easter Sunday, of course, is the grand finale — a day where Christians rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Unlike fixed holidays like Halloween and Christmas, Easter is considered a "moveable feast" and can fall anywhere from March 22 and April 25," according to The Old Farmer's Almanac. Easter falls on Sunday, April 17, 2022, which is considerably later than last year (April 4). Something else to note: Easter will take place in April next year, too!
How is Easter's date determined?
Easter is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon — officially called "Paschal Full Moon" — that lands on or just after the spring equinox. While Easter's date is always in flux, the Christian Church calendars state that the spring equinox always falls on March 21, whether that's scientifically correct or not (the date of the equinox varies between March 19 and March 22). This year, the first full moon after the spring equinox won't happen until Saturday, April 16, which means Easter falls on the following Sunday, April 17. If the first full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter is celebrated the following Sunday.
So, why do we celebrate Easter in spring anyway? According to the Bible, Jesus Christ's death and resurrection took place during the Jewish Passover, which typically falls in March or April. Commonly recognized as the festival of freedom, Passover begins at sundown on April 15 and ends on the evening of April 23.