Monday, April 13, 2015

Easter Monday, twice...!

In this part of the world, living very near Greece, Easter is celebrated twice...according to the the Western Christian Church and the Greek Orthodox Church.  The thing that makes me laugh in all of the "Easter Monday" holiday...I will get to that in a minute. I looked it up on the internet to get a better understanding why there are two Easter holidays.  

So  here are the 3 reasons:

     The first factor, the calendar, has to do with the fact that the Greek Orthodox Church, continues to follow the Julian calendar when calculating the date of Easter. The rest of Christianity uses the Gregorian calendar.

 The other factor at work is that the Orthodox Church continues to adhere to the rule set forth by the  First Ecumenical Council, held in Nicea in 325 AD, that requires that Easter must take place after the  Jewish Passover in order to maintain the Biblical sequence of Christ’s Passion.

 Finally, it must be on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, which is a fixed date, March 21. 

In 2011, Easter took place on the same date for the Western Christian Church and the Orthodox Church...but that won't happen again until 2034. 

Now for the Easter Monday issue...!

I live in a country that is 70% muslim, although not all are practicing their faith.  There is a law in Albania, and in Kosova, that if a holiday occurs on a Sunday, the following day Monday, is a national holiday.  Banks, schools, ABC Health Center are all closed.  So for the last two weeks, Monday has been an extra day off.  

The one blessing from having two Easter Celebrations is that the Orthodox Church behind my apartment, plays "All Creatures of our God and King" on the chapel bells, it is so special to hear that hymn being played.  (and I don't hear the mosque...and the call to prayer!) 

Even in the US...there is no such thing as Easter Monday, and it would never be allowed to happen twice...!

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