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Why is easter on a different weekend every year?


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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 10, 2008 8:39:41 PM PST
Aquatic Ape says:
Dear christians,

Isn't that a dead giveaway that it is a pagan spring festival that was appropriated (stolen) by christians?

If j-boy was nailed to a plank by the romans shouldn't someone around at the time who thought he was actually god (or the bastard offspring of god or something) WRITTEN DOWN THE FREAKING DATE?

--Confused, Iowa.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2008 8:45:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2008 8:49:54 PM PST
Emes says:
Dear confused -

The formula for determining the date of Easter is quite simple. It is from the agrarian (lunar) calendar, just as Passover (not a pagan festival) is. Since Jesus is said to have died on Friday of Passover week, it logically follows that the date would be based upon the same moveable dates as Passover on the Gregorian calendar.

Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

I know those are big words, but I also know that you can look them up.

Sincerely,
your local liturgist

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2008 8:51:13 PM PST
I. Dunn says:
We do it deliberately to keep the atheists wondering.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2008 8:57:26 PM PST
Aquatic Ape says:
That's not all we wonder about, let me assure you.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2008 9:24:36 PM PST
Emes says:
You could at least acknowledge that there is a reason for Easter's moveable dating. I have given you knowledge. ;)

emes

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2008 10:33:56 PM PST
Aquatic Ape says:
You haven't answered the question -- and modern astronomy could calculate the date of the first new moon after the vernal equinox in 33AD, or for any other year. That, surely, should be the day that is celebrated, like christmas day -- so why is easter variable?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2008 10:48:24 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 17, 2008 1:59:09 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2008 10:56:08 PM PST
Aquatic Ape says:
Using modern astronomy and science (neither of which would exist if the christian church had their way) you can calculate the date of the first new moon after the vernal equinox for any year, such as 33 CE. If your proposed messiah actually did rise from the dead and there were people around to witness it, don't you think that they may have noted the actual date? Even the year? Surely, the foundation stone of your entire belief system is that he rose from the dead -- so why is the date so unsure, and his birthday so well known? As I said, it's a load of bunk.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 3:16:12 PM PST
I. Dunn says:
Sure, if I had been there in 33 AD, at the time of the resurrection, the first thing I'd have done would be to whip out my copper chisel and carve the exact date and time into the closest piece of stone.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 3:35:18 PM PST
Jesus died on a Jewish holiday. That Jewish holiday is set to a lunar calendar and not our solar calendar....

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 3:52:03 PM PST
E. Gordon: How long are atheists going to pick at religious holidays?
Finn: Seems like a bunch of Christians were upset about Halloween (which when I was a kids was the eve of All Saints Day & we trooped off to church with our sugar hangovers.)
Another group of Christians was upset the someone, I forget, adopted the solstice as Jesus birthday.
I thought you would know, by now, that atheists are not an organization. I believe you are thinking of the Lions Club.
I suppose Atheists could celebrate the Fourth of July because the USA guarantees them freedom to worship or not as they see fit. For now anyway.
Finn

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 4:57:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 11, 2008 6:45:54 PM PST
DTS says:
its my understanding that the equinox and solstices are celebrated by all religions and all cultures pagan or otherwise. ( im generalizing) Its also my understanding that easter coincides with passover which coincides with the vernal equinox. Easter/pascha is a moveable feast based off the lunar calendar the exact day is not important what is important is that it is the time of passover. Christ is the passover lamb. Easter and passover both celebrate covenants sealed with the blood of the lamb. another interesting question might be: why doesnt all of Christianity celebrate easter/pascha on the same day? It would also be interesting to look into how closely he dates of paschal celebrations line up with those of passover

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 5:45:12 PM PST
The day is not exact. It was the time of the Jewish Passover. The Catholic Church chose a day after Constantine converted.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 8:42:38 PM PST
Aquatic Ape says:
So it IS a load of bunk, then?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 9:31:02 PM PST
Emes says:
VoR -

I did answer the question. You just didn't like the answer.

Easter is tied to Passover. Passover is tied to the moon's cycle. The lunar cycle is tied to planting of crops. Planting varies from country to country and region to region, so Easter's date is tied to the planting of the first spring crops in the Eastern Mediterranean from ca.850 BCE.

Since Christmas is *not* tied to any previous Judeo-Christian event and *is* tied to "pagan" winter solstice celebrations, it is a set date during the week of the winter solstice.

emes

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 9:37:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 12, 2008 12:49:09 AM PST
Emes says:
VoR -

I doubt that you are the voice of reason since you cannot grasp this simple pattern: Passover falls during the week of the first full moon after the vernal equinox, ergo, the crucifixion occurred [EDIT] during the week of Passover and is inextricably tied to it. The day of Pentecost (the descent of the HS) is also tied to the 50th (pente-) day after the planting of the first spring crops (the first-fruits of that planting). Both the resurrection and Pentecost fall on the first day of the week (i.e., Sunday).

This is not rocket science. Keep in mind that I am not endorsing the observances above-mentioned in any way, just giving you the logic of the dating.

emes

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 9:42:32 PM PST
Aquatic Ape says:
OK, you keep saying it is a movable feast. You admit it is tied to passover. You won't admit it's pagan links. No matter. The very fact that it moves supports my point. The death and resurrection of jesus did not happen. It didn't happen in 33 CE. It didn't happen in 27 CE. It didn't happen. The whole thing was made up in the 4th and 5th centuries from a mish mash of earlier stuff: roman, pagan, greek and persian/indian.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 9:42:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 12, 2008 12:56:26 AM PST
Emes says:
Michael -

Not exactly...

The only festival day celebrated by the nascent Christian church was Pentecost. It was the time for Baptisms. In Britain it was called white Sunday for this reason - later Whitsunday - and the week following was Whitsuntide. Easter was fixed on the calendar by working backward from Pentecost to the Sunday after Passover week - or if you prefer, forward from Passover week to the first day of the following week. The two festival days are dependent upon each other and both dependent upon Jewish festivals.

EDIT: The dates for Christmas and Easter were not set *into the church calendar* (a very different matter altogether) until several centuries later. This in no way proves it to be fiction. People were celebrating these events in various ways according to their cultures long before they were included in the calendar. This not a denial of syncretic elements that were added (symbols of the local culture, e.g., the egg symbolizes new life)because religion adapts to culture and not vice versa.

emes

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 9:48:40 PM PST
Emes says:
VoR -

I cannot admit pagan links to Easter because they are not there. And, it doesn't matter which year the crucifixion occurred in since the date would still be dependent upon Jewish (not pagan) festivals.

So far, your argument is one of, "It just plain didn't happen". Nobody says you have to believe it - well no reasonably well-educated person with an understanding of individual responses to spirituality, life, etc. Please do not paint all Christians as stupid and I won't talk about "all atheists" as being mean or ugly.

emes

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2008 10:13:07 PM PST
I. Dunn says:
VoR

Emes is right about there not being any pagan links. Some people have proposed that Easter is patterned on the dying and annual resurrection of the pagan gods of the change of seasons to summer to winter and to summer. But it isn't. It is patterned on the Passover which is the memorial of Moses leading the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land.

I.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2008 12:51:26 AM PST
Voice of Reason says:
"Using modern astronomy and science (neither of which would exist if the christian church had their way)..."

You know so little!

When the Council of Nicea met in 325 AD to decide on a common date for all Christians to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ it entrusted the dating of the vernal equinox to the Church of Alexandria.

Why? Because in those days the science of astronomy, although rudimentary, was centred in the city of Alexandria.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2008 8:03:35 AM PST
Aquatic Ape says:
Alexandria was were the old testament was made up wasn't it?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2008 1:42:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 14, 2008 1:44:01 PM PST
Herb Reeves says:
I'm usually just a voyeur on this forum, but I just have to say I loved your response about the changing date of Easter.

For the record, I'm also a confirmed atheist, but I don't carry around baggage loaded with bitterness. I know too many people who are Christians than to equate them all indiscriminately with the Pat Robertsons and other religious mongers of intolerance.

I do understand where the bitterness comes from, though. At least as I've experienced it.

It comes from the presumption of certain Christians that they possess the moral high ground in all ethical questions. In one such discussion about incorporating Christian values into law, I asked how my rights would be protected. When I was told that my beliefs would be "tolerated" and my rights upheld, I replied that my rights were protected under the Consititution and should not be dependent upon a religious sect's "toleration."

I make my point in such cases, but it's enough to make me understand the bitterness non-believers carry around on their shoulders. I simply choose not to.

Which is why I keep my participation on this forum to a minimum. I'm tolerant myself, but I will strike if attacked, and forums such as these are rife with temptation.

Anyway, I've gone on too long, and all I wanted to say was that I liked your sense of humor.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2008 11:03:15 PM PST
Aquatic Ape says:
Nice post -- it would actually make a good thread on it's own -- but I must take umbrage at your accusation of bitterness, which I assume is directed at me and other outspoken atheists and rationalists. I prefer the descriptive terms, "honest," "forthright," and "truthful." I also like the cliches, "pulls no punches," "will not suffer fools gladly," or the more flamboyant, "courageous defender of enlightenment values against the evils of religion."
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Discussion in:  Christianity forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  Feb 10, 2008
Latest post:  Feb 15, 2008

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