Archive for April 19, 2019

04/19/2019 – Ephemeris – Why Sunday is Easter

April 19, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Good Friday, Friday, April 19th. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 40 minutes, setting at 8:32, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:50. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 8:56 this evening.

Easter will be celebrated by western Christian churches this Sunday. Easter is a movable feast in that it falls on a different date each year following the first full moon of spring. It’s an attempt to follow the Jewish Passover, which starts on the 15th of the month of Nisan. Being a lunar calendar the 15th the generally the night of the full moon. And since the Last Supper was a Seder, the Christian church wanted to follow Passover as closely as possible using the Roman solar based (Julian*) calendar where the year was 365.25 days long. Passover starts at sunset tonight. The western churches eventually adopted the Gregorian calendar to keep in sync with the seasons. The Eastern churches kept the old Julian Calendar and other considerations to calculate the date of Easter, which arrives a week later.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

* The Julian calendar is named after Julius Caesar who proposed it in 46 BC.  It took effect on January 1, 45 BC.  By the Julian calendar today is April 6.