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The Eastern Church sets the date of Easter according to the actual, astronomical full moon and the actual equinox as observed along the meridian of Jerusalem, site of the Crucifixion and Resurrection.The Eastern Orthodox Church also applies the formula so that Easter always falls after Passover, since the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ took place after he entered Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.Easter and the Jewish Passover festival are strongly connected.The passion of Jesus Christ in the gospels is often presented with the festival of Passover as a background.Some scholars believe that the English word “Easter” comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre, who represented spring, plantings, new beginnings and fertility.Much like how Christmas matches up with the winter solstice, there’s thought that Easter was intentionally lined up with the spring equinox to encourage those more comfortable with pagan traditions to join Christianity.

Christian tradition links the date of the Easter celebration to the Hebrew calendar based on a combination of astronomical events.The legend goes that Eostre owned an egg-laying rabbit or hare and the story symbolized fertility and life.In the 8th century CE work , written by an English monk named Bede, the author claims that, during the month of April, the pagan Anglo-Saxon community used to have feasts to honour Eostre, but that custom had died out by the time of his writing, replaced by the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.Whether you're planning your 2017 holidays or swotting up on when the kids are off school, Easter is an important diary date we all need to know.Many key dates never change, such as Christmas or Valentine's Day, but Easter has always been a movable feast that changes every year.

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