Why Orthodox and Catholic Easter Are on Different Dates

Easter dates for the Catholic and Orthodox faiths typically differ. Greek Orthodox Easter, or Pascha, is approaching. This religious holiday is observed in Greece with greater passion and intensity than in many other Western Christian nations. Greece will observe Orthodox Easter, which falls one week later on April 16th, as opposed to rest of Europe, which will celebrate it on April 9. Orthodox churches continue to follow the Julian calendar for Easter, so there may occasionally be a weeks-long difference behind the calendars.

The two major Christian religions last shared same day celebration for the holiday was in 2017. For the two denominations, there would be a growing time difference between Easter celebrations.  Due to this growing divide, Easter celebrations in Western Christian denominations and the Greek Orthodox Church will never again coincide starting in the year 2700.

Easter will be celebrated on the same day 31 times in total for the whole 21st century, but this will happen less frequently with each passing century. Easter will likely not be celebrated simultaneously again until 2698. Orthodox and western Christians will never again jointly commemorate the Resurrection of Christ after that point.

Finding a single date for Easter and keeping to it has been a contentious issue that has sparked discussions throughout history. Christians used to commemorate Jesus Christ’s resurrection throughout the year in the early years of their faith.


The Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council in 325 AD developed a standard method for determining the date. They decided that Easter would always fall after Passover and would be observed on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the spring equinox.

The celebration of Orthodox Easter typically occurs later than in the West because the Orthodox have continued to use this technique of determining the date of the feast.

2 thoughts on “Why Orthodox and Catholic Easter Are on Different Dates

  1. Since the last supper was either the first or second Seder of Passover the so called holiday should be based on the Jewish calendar and not on the moon.

  2. Seems they should be at same time…you actually think Christ has time for
    This baloney.
    Celebrate the Resurrection 3rd week in April every year… The Apostles would love it and so would all of us.
    Christ has Risen… this week or next He has risen. God Bless.

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