It's really very simple: Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox, as reckoned by the Gregorian calendar. That is, unless you belong to an Orthodox tradition -- then, the Vernal Equinox is calculated according to the Julian calendar.
It's all based on the Pythagorean Theorem, you see -- where the sine of the angle made by the shortest side against the hypotenuse is equal to the square of the Holy Cross on which the Christ was crucified, according to the Triclavian tradition, which holds that exactly three nails were used in that historic act of brutality. (Quadriclavian faiths, on the other hand, use the cosine of the opposite angle as a basis for the calculation.)
And what could be easier than that?
The upswing is that Catholics, Protestants and Mormons celebrate Easter on April 8 this year, whereas Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and other Eastern Christian religions don't break Lent until one week later on April 15.
So I ask why, oh why, is Munchkin Radio's "Easter Bunny Welcoming Party" taking place this Friday. March 16, from 4-5 p.m. at the South Towne Center mall in Sandy? Obviously, this Easter Bunny party jumps the gun by three weeks to one month, depending.
In fact, this Easter Bunny party corresponds much more closely with the ancient Germanic Eostre/Ostara festival, which many neopagans these days peg to the Vernal Equinox (and which, by complicated calculations, in our MDT time zone, occurs Monday, March 19 at 11:14 p.m. -- but which most of neopagandom will celebrate Tuesday, March 20).
Basically, no matter what religion you follow, determining the exact date of your sacred annual spring-rebirth festival is always a mathematical and astronomical clusterfuck.
Still, considering that the Easter Bunny is not a Christian, but a pagan, symbol -- rabbits being renowned for their natural fecundity -- it seems that this weekend is a good date to kick off a monthlong spring festival, which can be enjoyed by everybody. After all, don't we all need a lot of rebirth and rejuvenation?
Especially this year. It's been a tiring winter.