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Christmas And Easter Will Coincide Eventually?!


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

The date of Easter is defined as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Since the date of each full moon in a calendar varies every year, the date of Easter varies from year to year and can be early as the 23rd of March and as late as the 25th of April.

Due to precession, the earth's axis slowly rotates and completes one complete turn every 26,000 years. The consequences of this means that the date of the equinoxes and solstices is slowly getting earlier and earlier in the year over the centuries.

Since the date of Easter is dependent on the date of the spring equinox, the date of Easter is also gradually getting earlier and earlier in the year over the centuries, eventually Christmas and Easter will coincide!

This won't happen for thousands of years though! :D

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
Since the date of Easter is dependent on the date of the spring equinox, the date of Easter is also gradually getting earlier and earlier in the year over the centuries, eventually Christmas and Easter will coincide!

This won't happen for thousands of years though! :rolleyes:

Imagine the orgy of commericalism when it does.

T.M

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Posted
  • Location: Sth Staffs/Shrops 105m/345' & NW Snowdonia 219m/719'
  • Location: Sth Staffs/Shrops 105m/345' & NW Snowdonia 219m/719'
The other consequnces of the shifting of the equinoxes and solstices is that we will be some time in the future celebrating Christmas during the summer, Easter during the Autumn and mid winter will be in July! :rolleyes: :lol:

And look what that's done to the Australians! :(

(no offence meant..... but we did win the Ashes!) :D

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Posted
  • Location: Basingstoke, Hants
  • Weather Preferences: Unexpected gusts of wind, and cumulus clouds in rude and amusing shapes.
  • Location: Basingstoke, Hants
Imagine the orgy of commericalism when it does.

T.M

*shudders*

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Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

So - can we look forward to a White Easter instead of a White Christmas? :lol:

Hang on - they were forecasting a White Easter for this year not long ago!

We're there already! :lol:

Happy Christmas!!! :D:D :lol:

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

The Gregorian calendar was devised to include leap years to stop this drift in the equinoxes by adding the extra day but even that isn't quite enough due to a wobble in the precession, there is still a very slight drift. For instance in 2096, the vernal equinox will occur on the 19th of March, by 9000 AD, it will be on the 18th of March

The graphs below shows exact time of the vernal equinox over the years and centuries. You can still see a gradually downward drift despite the leap days being added to counteract this.

limg12.gif

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"You can still see a gradually downward drift despite the leap days being added to counteract this. "

My logic indicates that it is the removal of leap days that counteracts this.

See for example, the years 1900 and 2100 (which are not leap years, despite being exactly divisible by 4). Both of those have an obvious effect shown in your graph, of bringing back the equinox date to March 21.

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Posted
  • Location: Brixton, South London
  • Location: Brixton, South London

Fascinating posts Mr Data. Interestingly (well for lawyer nerds anyway) is the fact that an attempt was made to fix the date of Easter in the UK on the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April and legislation was enacted in 1928. However it has never been brought into effect (no doubt due to the complete impossibility of achieving a consensus with non-Anglican demnominations) [i should add that the BBC New website states only that the House of Commons passed the bill not that it procedded to Royal Assent...]

Interestingly the Vatican has been broadly in favour of a fixed date since 1963 and formally proposed a fixed date in 1990 provided that all denominations and governments agreed.

Needless to say there is no prospect that Easter will be fixed for the foreseeable future...

Regards

ACB

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
"You can still see a gradually downward drift despite the leap days being added to counteract this. "

My logic indicates that it is the removal of leap days that counteracts this.

See for example, the years 1900 and 2100 (which are not leap years, despite being exactly divisible by 4). Both of those have an obvious effect shown in your graph, of bringing back the equinox date to March 21.

The year is 365.24 days long, so an extra day is added on every 4 years to account for the 0.24 of a day. If we did not have leap days then the seasons would drift out of synch with the calendar very much faster than a calendar with leap days present, hence why I said leap days counteract this

For instance, if we had no leap days then in 16 years time, we would be a "day" out. In 160 years time, it would be 10 days out. :lol:

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Posted
  • Location: Swansea (West)
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Thunderstorms, Hot Summer days
  • Location: Swansea (West)

In the next few years we will see Easter land just days from its earliest and latest points possible,

2008: Good Friday will be on the 23rd March, Easter Sunday the 25th March,

while in

2011 Good Friday will be on the 22nd April with Easter Sunday being the 24th April

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Posted
  • Location: New Zealand
  • Location: New Zealand

Well, the Celts went by the moon - 13 full cycles per year. This still left a day out though, hence the measure of "a year and a day"

Incidentally, because the odd day was transitional, and special in that respect, the phrase arose to describe it as "a day that is not a day, in a year that is not a year", and this was the agricultural festival of Samhain... And so the modern Halloween was born - a day where the earth is "in between worlds" metaphysically speaking, and hence the church adopting all hallows eve as a day the monsters come out to play (a distortion of celtic beliefs in order to promote their festival - all saints day).

So, not at all to cheapen the festial of Samhain, next time trick or treaters wake you up from a much needed night shift sleep or throw eggs at your door, blame the true root cause - calender drift!

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Posted
  • Location: Birmingham
  • Location: Birmingham
The other consequnces of the shifting of the equinoxes and solstices is that we will be some time in the future celebrating Christmas during the summer, Easter during the Autumn and mid winter will be in July! :blush: :blush:

Imagine if that happens, the song will be "I'm dreaming of a 30C Christmas" :o

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