When is Easter 2017: How Are Easter Dates Decided?

Easter Sunday falls on different dates every year, and this 2017, it is scheduled to take place a little later in the year.

Reuters/Jonathan ErnstA photo of children participating in the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 21, 2014.

According to the Telegraph, Easter falls in the month of April this year, set three weeks later than it did in 2016. Good Friday is taking place on April 14, followed by Holy Saturday on April 15. Then, Easter Sunday is on April 16, with Easter Monday scheduled the next day, April 17.

Easter is a Christian festival that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As detailed in the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday, and was resurrected after three days.

Jesus' resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday, and it also marks the conclusion of Lent — the 40-day period of fasting that commences on Ash Wednesday.

The day before Good Friday is Maundy Thursday, and it commemorates the last supper Jesus Christ shared with the Apostles.

The Gospels, which accounts the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, established the date of Crucifixion on Friday, April 3, in the year 33 AD. However, the mention of an eclipse taking place on the same day has fueled further debate on the matter.

Even though a date was established in the Gospel, the date of Easter falls on different dates every year because the last week of Jesus' mortal life falls on a period known as the Passion. This period includes a series of connected events that must all fall on the right dates in the modern calendar.

When a group of bishops gathered at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, rules had finally been laid down regarding Easter. It was established that Easter must always take place on a Sunday, and it always had to fall on the first Sunday after the full moon at Passover, around the same time the Last Supper happened.

However, because the full moon can fall on different days in different time zones, it was established that the date must always be set on the 14th day of the lunar months, and must take place in the full moon after the Spring Equinox called the Paschal Moon.

Once this date is determined, the Easter holidays can now fall on specific dates in the calendar.