It seemed to come upon me very quickly – the isolation from real life has thrown much off, even the calendar.
The Orthodox Easter – that church still follows the Julian calendar unlike the other major Christian faiths which follow the Gregorian calendar – is not until May 2, 2021. I believed the calendar that determined Passover was similar to the Julian calendar but it differs. I learned – at this late date – Passover begins on the 15th day of Nisan which typically begins on the night of a full moon after the northern vernal equinox.
The last full moon before now was the worm moon which occurred on March 28. I was curious about its name so I had to look that up. It got its name from the earthworms that emerge at this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. In most years, the Worm Moon is the last Full Moon – before the March equinox, which can take place on March 19, 20, or 21. This year it came after the spring (March) equinox (anything to do with global warming?) so Passover began on March 27 (don’t know why the day discrepancy – might have to do with the way the day is calculated starting at sundown). It continues on to April 4. So these subtleties caused me not to wish those who celebrate Passover a Happy Passover. So I do so now.
The Orthodox Easter is determined a little differently. It is set on the first Sunday following the first full moon that occurs after the spring (March) equinox. If the spring equinox occurred on March 21, and the full moon was on March 28, then its Easter should have been today, April 2.
That would be true but they do not use the Gregorian calendar. Under the Julian calendar today is March 20 so the spring equinox is occurring around now. The next full moon in the Gregorian calendar is Monday, April 26 and the Sunday following is May 2. The next full moon in the Julian calendar it is April 13 so it would be the following Sunday and when we transpose from Julius Caesar to Pope Gregory it becomes May 2.
Now as far as I can tell there is a holiday around this time for the Muslims. I believe early in April Ramadan starts. So for those folk too, I extend a Happy Ramadan. I know there is an Arabic word I should use as well as there being a Hebrew word I should use for Passover but I must default to what I know which is English.
I went looking though for the Irish or Gaelic words for Happy Easter. I came across the photo shown here labeled: “These people dancing on the pier at Clogherhead, Co. Louth in 1935 certainly look as though they are working up an appetite!” Apparently it was a tradition to have a big feast because “all of that food could be worked off at an Easter Dance contest where people would aim to win simply by outlasting all of the other participants or by being a particularly fine dancer. And the prize – more food in the form of a beautifully decorated cake, specially baked for the occasion.”
My friend Ronald was born in Dundalk which in County Louth. I wonder if he ever attended these dances. If you click on the photo you can enlarge it. My impression is that the Irish were certainly a dark haired race of people although a couple of light persons can be spotted sitting on the wall.
That’s a long way of wishing you all: “ Beannachtaí na Cásca oraibh”