Have you ever wondered to yourself why does the date we celebrate Easter change annually?
Well, the answer stems from the origins of the holiday itself, as it is currently a Christian holiday but was adopted from a far older religion known as paganism.
Believed to be one of the oldest if not the oldest known recorded religions on Earth, Paganism is a religion whose followers believe that “nature is sacred and that the natural cycles of birth, growth and death observed in the world around us carry profound spiritual meanings. Human beings are part of nature, along with other animals, trees, stones, plants and everything else that is of this earth.”
Now back to Easter, the symbology and why the date changes?
Some big storians believe that the symbol of the Easter egg itself originated in medieval Europe, and others believe it came from Anglo-Saxon festivals in Spring (northern hemisphere, so our autumn) celebrating the goddess Eostre. It is likely she is the namesake of Easter, as she represented the dawn of spring and represents fertility, as chickens would lay significantly more through the warmer months after the harsh winter. The brightly coloured eggs were meant to represent the blossoming flowers as spring dawned. Whereas the use of a rabbit would be more than likely directly correlated with fertility, as we all know what rabbits are good at, so therefore a perfect symbol of fertility.
Easter is celebrated on different dates annually as it is based on the lunar or Pagan solar calendar. It is celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon occurring after the Spring (Autumn for us in the Southern Hemisphere) Equinox. So, for example, this year the autumn equinox was on March 21 at 2:32am and the first full moon was on April 17, but as it is the first Sunday Easter is today. Whereas next year the first full moon is April 6 and that makes the first Easter Sunday April 9.