An Historian

historical stuff by Gareth Millward


The Easter Standardisation Hypothesis


You know how every year some people complain about Easter moving around the calendar, seemingly at random?

It’s actually because it’s linked to the Passover which is linked to the phases of the moon.

But fear not! The United Kingdom has legally standardised Easter! Legally it can fall on the same day every year, avoiding disruption to schools and universities and spreading our Bank Holidays more evenly across the calendar!

The only slight snag is that we need to get every denomination of Christianity to agree. This is probably why, after 84 years we still haven’t got this thing sorted.

Easter Act 1928

1928 CHAPTER 35

An Act to regulate the date of Easter Day and days or other periods and occasions depending thereon.[3rd August 1928]

Be it enactedby the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Date of Easter-day.

1. Easter-day shall, in the calendar year next but one after the commencement of this Act and in all subsequent years, be the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April, and section three of the Calendar (New Style) Act, 1750, the new calendar, tables and rules annexed to that Act, and section two of the Calendar Act, 1751, are hereby amended and shall be read and construed accordingly, and, in particular, the Calendar (New Style) Act, 1750, shall, as respects such calendar years as aforesaid, have effect as if in the ” Rules to know when the Moveable Feasts and Holy Days begin” contained in that Act, for the words ” is always the first Sunday after the full moon which ” happens upon or next after the twenty-first day of ” March, and if the full moon happens upon a Sunday, ” Easter Day is the Sunday after,” there shall be substituted the words

“is always the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April.”

2. Short title, commencement and extent.

(1)This Act may be cited as the Easter Act, 1928.

(2)This Act shall commence and come into operation on such date as may be fixed by Order of His Majesty in Council, provided that, before any such Order in Council is made, a draft thereof shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament, and the Order shall not be made unless both Houses by resolution approve the draft either without modification or with modifications to which both Houses agree, but upon such approval being given the order may be made in the form in which it has been so approved: Provided further that, before making such draft order, regard shall be had to any opinion officially expressed by any Church or other Christian body.

(3)This Act shall extend to the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands, and His Majesty in Council may by Order extend this Act to any other part of His Majesty’s dominions, except such parts as are mentioned in Part I. of the Schedule to this Act, and to any territory under His Majesty’s protection in which His Majesty has jurisdiction, and to any territory in respect of which a mandate on behalf of the League of Nations has been accepted by His Majesty other than the territories mentioned in Part II. of the said Schedule.

Bloody Christians…

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