When Is Easter 2022 and How Is Easter Determined?

We all know as a kid that one of the most anticipated dates – aside from birthday parties – is Easter! This coincides with March or April, based on the Gregorian calendar. But what about those who are not familiar with Easter? What about those looking to find out when is Easter 2022 or wondering when is Easter in the next 10 years? Not to fret, for we have your back!

When is Easter 2022?

Easter is a movable feast that is always held on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25. For the year 2022, it falls on April 17. The date of Easter Sunday can also change from year to year in many Eastern Orthodox churches, but this does not typically happen until after 2100.

It is just one day after April’s full Moon (Saturday, April 16), which is the first full moon to occur after the spring equinox (March 20, 2022) and is therefore known in the Christian calendar as the Paschal Full Moon—it determines the date of Easter. 

Why is Easter so late in 2022?

calendar with easter eggs

The Christian calendar is a human artifact. The dates of its holidays are determined by rules, not by the motions of stars and planets. In many cases, they depend on complex formulas. Easter, in particular, is a movable feast: it occurs on the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that falls on or next to the day of the vernal equinox.

Since we live in a technological society, most people don’t have a very good intuitive grasp of astronomy. They may not even know that the Christian calendar is solar, with years starting with the vernal equinox—or if they do know it, they may not have any idea when that is. Since Easter is dependent on knowing when the vernal equinox occurs, this can lead to some confusion about when it takes place.

In the year 2022, Easter will be unusually late: April 17th. There are two unrelated reasons for this. One has to do with the fact that the years in which March 21st falls on a Saturday are automatically ruled out as potential Easter dates; the other is due to an arbitrary decision made by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582

How is Easter determined?

Most of the calculations you do yourself in life, you do without knowing how they work. When you decide to buy a house, you don’t need to know how mortgages are priced. When you pick a route for your morning commute, you don’t need to know how traffic jams form. And when you decide what day Easter will fall on, you don’t need to know how its date is calculated.

But maybe we’re unduly dismissive of this last case. These days we tend not to think much about Easter’s date; it’s just something we look up in the calendar. But people used to have strong feelings about it. Easter is an important holiday for Christians, and picking its date was an important responsibility for their leaders. So those leaders spent a lot of time and energy trying to get the calculation right.

Easter depends on a complicated rule that relates it to the lunar month and the equinoxes. And because of this rule, its date is not fixed from year to year: it can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25.

Why is Easter based on the full moon?

Easter is based on the paschal full moon. The full moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon), and Easter must be celebrated after the paschal full moon, but on the Sunday following. The paschal full moon falls on or after 21 March, and on or before 18 April, according to astronomical tables.

The formula for calculating Easter was first derived by the Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus in 525 A.D., and it was his formula that St. Bede used to calculate the date of Easter in 725 A.D.

The Gregorian calendar is based on a refinement of this system whereby century years not divisible by 400 would not be leap years. As a result of this refinement, the Gregorian calendar is currently about one day ahead of what it should be based on astronomical calculations.

What is the earliest Easter has ever been?

The earliest Easter can occur is on March 22. This was in 1818 and will happen again in 2285. The latest Easter can be is on April 25. This happened most recently in 1943 and will happen again in 2038.

Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon (PFM), which is the first full moon that occurs on or after the vernal equinox (March 21). The PFM date for a given year can be calculated using the Metonic cycle.

The Gregorian calendar repeats exactly every 400 years. However, this does not keep the PFM from drifting backward because of the difference between a solar year (365.2425 days) and a lunar month (about 29.531 days). Therefore, after every 300 or 400 years (usually every 336 years) there must be an adjustment to restore the March 21 date of the vernal equinox.

The Gregorian Easter always occurs somewhere between March 22 and April 25 inclusive, within about 7 days of the astronomical full moon, and within 5 days of the vernal equinox.

Easter dates for the next 10 years

Easter is one of the most important Christian festivals, celebrated yearly on Easter Sunday. The date of Easter varies from year to year and depends upon when the full moon falls with respect to the spring equinox.

In 2019, Easter Sunday is on April 21, 2020, is on April 12, 2021, is on April 4 and 2022 is on April 18. See the attached table below to find out the Easter dates for the next 10 years:

easter dates for the next 10 years

April 9, 2023

March 31, 2024

April 20, 2025

April 5, 2026

March 28, 2027

April 16, 2028

April 1, 2029

April 21, 2030

April 13, 2031

March 28, 2032

More Easter Date Trivia

Q: When is Ash Wednesday 2022?

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent on March 2, when churchgoers smear ashes from palms on their foreheads.

Q: What happens during Lent?

Lent is a mandatory 40-day period where many people choose to give up something or give themselves to charity. Lent is a 40-day celebration of repentance that culminates with Holy Week.

Q: When is Holy Wednesday 2022?

Holy Wednesday falls on April 13 and is the day Judas Iscariot was betrayed by Jesus Christ.

Q: Is Palm Sunday the beginning of Holy Week?

Yes. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on April 10, 2022, marking the end of Lent.

Q: What is the rarest date for Easter?

The date with the fewest Easters is March 23, which has only 14 (0.56%).

Next time you’re celebrating Easter with your family, make sure to mark these other dates down so you can celebrate accordingly!

Final Thoughts on Easter

Hopefully, this article will make you a little bit more informed when it comes to Easter and its origins. Whether you’re a teacher or a parent looking to teach your kids about this holiday or just someone who is interested in learning more, there are bound to be a few facts that get you excited.

And we believe that if you’re planning an Easter celebration, we got you covered too! Whether you’re looking for fun Easter celebration ideas, Easter party food ideas, Easter gift ideas for adults, or just looking for some tips on DIY Easter decorations or Easter decorations for the table, you’ll find them here.

Here are other Easter topics you might be interested in:

So, what are you waiting for? Get reading!