Tuesday, March 20, 2018
EASTER and APRIL FOOL'S DAY
April 1, 2018
For the first time since 1956, Easter Sunday falls on April 1 - or April Fool's Day. Since 1900, Easter has fallen on April Fool's Day only four times - 1923, 1934, 1945 and 1956. It won't happen again until 2029.
April 1, 1945, we celebrated Easter by invading the island of Okinawa. That was the last island my First Marine Division invaded while fighting the Japanese. I also celebrated my 20th birthday after almost 3 years in World War II.
The time when Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Christ, Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the spring equinox. The spring equinox occurs on March 20 this year.
Easter generally falls between March 22 and April 25 each year.
In addition to religious services, Easter is also celebrated with egg hunts, family gatherings and visits from the Easter Bunny, who leaves treats in children's Easter baskets.
The Easter/April Fool's combo isn't the only joint commemoration this year. In February, Valentine's Day fell on Ash Wednesday.
Origins of Easter
While the Bible does not mention "Easter," it's believed the name comes from early celebrations of the pre-Christian goddess Eostre, who was typically celebrated at the beginning of Spring. Eostre's name remained as early Christians marked the time of Jesus' resurrection and the title survived through history, though it was changed to "Easter" by English speakers.
The Easter season coincides with Passover, one of the most important festivals on the Jewish calendar. In 2018, Passover will begin on the evening of Friday, March 30 and ends in the evening of Saturday, April 7. Passover commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.