Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon in a Northern Hemisphere spring.
By ecclesiastical rules, which fixes the date of the equinox to March 21, the earliest possible date for Easter is March 22 and the latest possible is April 25. There are 35 dates on which Easter can take place. There won’t be another one as early as today’s Easter Sunday (March 27, 2016) until 2035 (March 25, 2035).
The earliest Easter in the 21st century came in the year 2008 (March 23, 2008). Another March 23 Easter won’t come again until the year 2160.
The last time Easter fell on March 22 (earliest possible date) was in 1818, and the next time will be in 2285.
The century’s latest Easter will occur in the year 2038 (April 25, 2038). After that, it will next fall on April 25 in the year 2190.
Happy Easter to all who celebrate it!
Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky's popular Tonight pages since 2004. He's a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.