When is Easter 2024?

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We are often asked ‘when is Easter this year?’ Everyone needs to know in advance to schedule holidays, make Easter preparations and put important dates in the diary.

Easter Sunday for 2023 is Sunday 31st March

The Easter weekend in the UK is from Good Friday 29th March through to Easter Sunday on 31st March.

The key dates in Holy Week leading up to Easter include Maundy Thursday on 28th March and Easter Monday is on 1st April after Easter Sunday.

The Easter Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar (rather than the Gregorian calendar) and they will celebrate Easter on Sunday 5th May.

 

Why does Easter fall on a different day every year?

Easter is what is known as a movable feast and the date changes every year because it is determined by the moon. Easter can be celebrated on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 in any given year.

This is because the date is determined by the Paschal Full Moon, also known as the first full moon after the spring equinox date. Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon and Good Friday is the Friday following the Paschal Full Moon.

Interestingly, the most common date for Easter Sunday to fall, based on an analysis of Easter dates from 1600 to 2099, is on either 31st March or 16th April and the least common date for Easter Sunday is 22nd March!

 

When do Passion Plays happen in the UK?

Most Passion Plays in the UK take place on Good Friday (29th March). Why is this? The reason is that the focus of the Passion Plays is on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Since the crucifixion is traditionally remembered on Good Friday, most Passion Plays take place on Friday.

Many Passion Plays also include a scene showing the resurrection of Jesus and his resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday. All churches around the country have services that focus on the resurrection, so not as many Passion Plays take place on Easter Sunday.

Some Passion Plays in the UK take place on Easter Saturday because it is a day when many people are free to take part or to come and watch them. Easter Saturdays are very busy times in towns and cities across the UK because it is the Easter holiday weekend so lots of people are out shopping and visiting friends. Traditionally Easter Saturday was remembered as the time when Jesus was in the tomb, where his body lay for 3 days.

 

How can you find a Passion Play near you?

Passion Plays tell the Gospel story of Jesus Christ’s life and death every Easter weekend. They are free, live performances that take place in the public square in towns and cities across the UK. You can find a play near you by using our interactive map and there is also a full list on our website here.

An actor portraying Jesus is bound by rope in the centre of a Passion Play performance surrounded by soldier actors and crowds watching.UK Easter holidays

There is a four-day bank holiday weekend in the UK between 31st March and 1st April 2024 and the school Easter holidays generally take place over two weeks either side of Easter Sunday.

While there are many Passion Plays taking place around the UK, large shops have to close by law on Easter Sunday. Small shops, pharmacies, and shops in airports and train stations are allowed to open. Public transport might be reduced over the Easter bank holidays, but most attractions are open over Easter.

 

You can also see a list of Easter dates from 2000 to 2099 if you are interested!