Spreading the joy…

of three faith traditions…

“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

Kate McGahan
Spring begins to unfold

There was a rare event that occurred, so unusual that it only happens once every 33 years. That event was the convergence of (western) Easter, Passover, and Ramadan. The Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate Easter (Pascua/Resurrection Sunday) next Sunday, on April 24th.

Easter (western) falls on the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or after the vernal equinox. Orthodox Easter follows that same principle, but with an addition: Easter must occur after Passover is concluded. The other factor that results in two dates for Easter is the fact that the western church (which includes Roman Catholics and all varieties of Protestents) follows the Gregorian calendar, while the Eastern Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar.

Passover is always on the fifteenth day of the month of Nisan. The Hebrew calendar is based on the lunar calendar. Each month of a lunar year has either 29 or 30 days, resulting in a total of 354 days in the year. The lunar year is not the same as the solar year, which has 365.25 days in a year. Every now and then, an extra month is added to the Hebrew calendar to make up for the fact that the Hebrew calendar presents a shorter year than the solar year. That ensures that Passover is always celebrated in the spring.

The Islamic calendar is the same as the Hebrew calendar. It is based on the lunar calendar and is 354 days per year. Ramadan can occur in different seasons. Apparently, the determination of when Ramadan begins is complicated. I read two articles and cannot explain it. Here’s a link to an article from the California Islamic University that it gives information as to why it’s so complicated. https://www.calislamic.com/how-to-determine-the-beginning-and-end-of-ramadan/

“We do not pray, fast, or give charity because Allah needs it, but because our spirits need to be in the presence of the Divine light to blossom. We are seeds, we are infinite potential hidden in the garden of a body, waiting to awaken through the mercy of Allah’s light.”

― A. Helwa, Secrets of Divine Love Journal: Insightful Reflections that Inspire Hope and Revive Faith
and then it snows, reminding us that we need to be patient and open to the unexpected.

Passover is one of my favorite times of the year. This is when the whole community and family gets together to remember who we are and why we are here.

 – Jennifer Wanger

6 thoughts on “Spreading the joy…”

  1. Thanks for this, what neat little nugget of info. I never knew why these holidays occurred when they did as they move around each year. Your photos are beautiful too!

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