Happy Easter Sunday 2020! As we enjoy the UK bank holiday, which part of the Easter story does it honour?

TODAY is Easter Sunday and everyone is excited about some extra days off work.

As we enjoy the UK bank holiday, which part of the Easter story does it honour? Here's the lowdown…

When is Easter Sunday?

TODAY is Easter Sunday – April 12.

The date is decided by a complex set of calculations based on observations of the moon.

In early Christianity, different churches used different methods, leading to disagreements which remain unresolved centuries later.

Eastern and Western churches continue to celebrate Easter according to different calendars, although sometimes by chance the festivals coincide.

Is Easter Sunday a bank holiday?

Though Easter Sunday is obviously on a weekend, we still get Monday, April 13 off as it's a bank holiday, but not every workplace will give employees this Easter date off.

Bank or public holidays do not have to be given to employees as paid leave, an employer can decide whether to include bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory leave.

The Government website has more details on what your worker’s rights are in regards to public holidays. 

Bank holidays may also impact how benefits are paid, the gov.uk website explains how they may be affected.

What part of the Easter story does it honour?

Easter celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus, which the Bible says happened around the Jewish festival Passover.

Passover typically begins on the night of the first full moon after the spring equinox, except in "leap months" when it is the second full moon, as in 2016.

Because the precise timing of observing the full moon can vary in each time zone, the Church instead calculates the date from ecclesiastical calendar.

Easter Day is the first Sunday after the paschal full moon – so if the full moon is on a Sunday, Easter will be a week later.

Christians in the East use the Julian calendar, 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar used in the West, so the full moon and equinox are calculated according to a different date.

This means in 2019 the Eastern church will celebrate Easter on April 28, a week after Western churches.

Some years, such as in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2017, the two churches celebrated Easter on the same day. This will happen next in 2025.

In other years the festivals may be up to five weeks apart, as happened in 2013 and 2016.

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