This year, Christians, Jews, and Muslims celebrate an unusually holy weekend, as major religious celebrations (Easter, Passover and Ramadan, respectively) overlap on the same weekend. Often Easter and Passover are observed concurrently. Having all three holidays occur at the same time happens about once every 30 years. The last time was 1991.
This year’s convergence occurs because unlike the Western Christian calendar, which is determined by the course of the sun and is widely used in the Western world, the Islamic calendar is aligned with the moon and the uncorrected lunar year.
A year in the solar calendar lasts 365 days usually. The Islamic lunar year, on the other hand, lasts only 354 days. Ramadan is the first day of the ninth month of the uncorrected lunar calendar and its beginning is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon. The observance of Ramadan migrates throughout the seasons over the course of several decades.
Ramadan: April 1 to May 1-2
Ramadan commemorates the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, Islam’s founder and main prophet, and is meant as a time of reflection and prayer. Ramadan involves 30 days of fasting from dawn to sunset. The timing of the first day of Ramadan can be a fairly complicated matter.
Passover: April 15 -23
Passover celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt under the leadership of the prophet Moses. The week-long holiday begins at sundown on the first day. It takes place on different dates, but usually falls in the mid-March to April timeframe.
Easter: April 17 or April 24
Western Christians use the Gregorian Calendar and celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. There is even some variation within Christianity. Orthodox Christians who use the Julian Calendar celebrate Easter this year on April 24.
Clear as can be, right? Here are some references if you’d like to explore the timing of these holidays.
Mysterious Easter Island (Isla de Pasqua or Rapa Nui) on of the world’s most remote islands, got its name because it was first sighted by Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday April 5, 1722.
I arrived on Easter Island at Mataveri International Airport in 2019 but not on Easter.
Best wishes to all who observe these celebrations. Feel free to add corrections in the comments if anything is misstated in the post. Thanks for your time and attention.