The Christian and Jewish religious holidays of Easter and Passover, always entwined for historical reasons, share the same weekend in 2015.
Passover begins at sundown on Friday, which is Good Friday for Christians, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion by the governor of what was then the Roman province of Judaea. Easter, which recognizes the resurrection of Christ, occurs on Sunday.
Passover commemorates the Jews’ escape from slavery in Egypt. The Last Supper in Christian tradition was likely a Passover seder, or ritual dinner, in the Jewish tradition, though some Bible scholars reject this interpretation.
Dating religious holidays is complicated. The Jewish calendar is based on cycles of the moon, and therefore does not correspond to the actual solar calendar. “Leap months” must be added from time to time to make up the difference.
Passover begins on the 15th day of Nisan, which is the seventh month in the Jewish calendar, and ends on the 21st day. The holiday can begin anywhere from March 26 to April 24, depending on how the Jewish calendar corresponds to the solar calendar.
Easter was originally celebrated on the first Sunday following Passover. The Christian Council of Nicaea in 325 officially separated Easter from the Jewish calendar, but in practice, the dates remain associated by the way they are calculated.
The Christian holiday has come to be the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or soonest after March 21. The holiday can occur anywhere between March 22 and April 25.
In case you’re looking at the sky, and want to confirm all this celestial trivia, the moon will officially be full in April at 5:05 a.m. Saturday morning.
Times of San Diego wishes San Diego’s Christians a happy Easter and Jews a happy Passover.
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