As we approach Easter, it’s important to understand the calculation behind determining the date of the holiday. In this article, we will explore the history and methodology behind calculating the date of Easter, and provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculation using PHP.

History of Easter

Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The date of Easter is based on the lunar calendar and is calculated using a combination of astronomical and mathematical calculations.

The origin of Easter can be traced back to the Jewish holiday of Passover. In the Bible, it is said that Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples on the night before he was crucified. After his resurrection, the early Christian church began celebrating Easter as a way to commemorate the event.

Calculation of Easte

The date of Easter is determined by calculating the first Sunday following the first full moon that occurs on or after the vernal equinox (the first day of spring). This method of calculation was established by the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.

To perform this calculation using PHP, we can use the easter_date() function. This function takes a year as input and returns the Unix timestamp for Easter Sunday in that year.

Example code


$year = 2023;
$easter_date = easter_date($year);
echo date('F j, Y', $easter_date);

This code will output the date of Easter Sunday in the year 2023: April 16, 2023.


In conclusion, understanding the calculation behind determining the date of Easter can help us better appreciate the significance of the holiday. By using the easter_date() function in PHP, we can easily perform the calculation and obtain the date of Easter Sunday for any given year.

Practice Your Knowledge

What does the easter_date() function in PHP return?

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