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April 16, 2006

Easter confusion

There are very few times in a marriage where you can have the satisfaction of disagreeing over something, and then both genuinely be content that each of you was right.

Having been into town and found everything open, I asked Claire "Are you sure it is Easter this weekend?".

"Well", she said, "I'm only going on what it says in my Winnie the Pooh diary".

I'm not sure when Winnie the Pooh became an expert on the ecclesiastical calendar, but he seemed as reliable source as any we had available.

My suspicions were aroused again as I went through the TV listings in the newspaper. There didn't seem to be much religious programming this weekend, but an awful lot of "Jesus of Nazareth" and so forth is coming our way next week.

The answer is of course that whilst the UK has been enjoying Easter this weekend, this year the Orthodox Church celebrates Easter a week after the Western branches of the Christian church, as they use different calendars to calculate it. The churches do sometimes have Easter at the same time, next year is one such occasion, as can be seen on this table comparing the Western and Orthodox Easter dates.

So we were both right, it was, and it wasn't, Easter.

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