When Is Pascha?

Dates for Pascha, Easter, and Related Days
The moon behind the dome of St. George Church, Cairo, Egypt; the moon affects the Paschal calendar

When is Pascha? When is Easter? This handy Paschal calendar gives you all the dates you need for 2016 and beyond. The gray rows are dates observed by Christians in the Western traditions, and not by the Orthodox. They are included in the table because it’s sometimes helpful to know when everyone else will be celebrating.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Publican and Pharisee Feb. 5 Jan. 28 Feb. 18 Feb. 9 Feb. 21 Feb. 13 Feb. 5
Prodigal Son Feb. 12 Feb. 4 Feb. 25 Feb. 16 Feb. 28 Feb. 20 Feb. 12
Last Judgment (Meatfare) Feb. 19 Feb. 11 Mar. 3 Feb. 23 Mar. 7 Feb. 27 Feb. 19
Ash Wednesday Mar. 1 Feb. 14 Mar. 6 Feb. 26 Feb. 17 Mar. 2 Feb. 22
Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare) Feb. 26 Feb. 18 Mar. 10 Mar. 1 Mar. 14 Mar. 6 Feb. 26
First day of Lent Feb. 27 Feb. 19 Mar. 11 Mar. 2 Mar. 15 Mar. 7 Feb. 27
Palm Sunday Apr. 9 Apr. 1 Apr. 21 Apr. 12 Apr. 25 Apr. 17 Apr. 9
Western Easter Apr. 16 Apr. 1 Apr. 21 Apr. 12 Apr. 4 Apr. 17 Apr. 9
Pascha Apr. 16 Apr. 8 Apr. 28 Apr. 19 May 2 Apr. 24 Apr. 16

Services During Lent

Most Orthodox parishes have special services throughout Great Lent. Some of these may be at the church, and some may be at another parish. There may be services for the departed in a local cemetery. You’ll want to consult the calendar of your local parish for details.

It’s important to note the dates of Lent if you’re planning a spring wedding. Orthodox Christian weddings can’t be held during Lent or Holy Week.

Calendar Coincidences

When you have a complicated calendar, you can end up with a lot of interesting coincidences.

  • Pascha and Easter fall on the same date in 2017 and in 2025.
  • The earliest Pascha can fall on the New Calendar is April 4. The latest is May 5.
  • When Pascha and the Annunciation fall on the same day, it’s called Kyriopascha. This can’t happen on the New Calendar. On the Old Calendar and Gregorian Calendar, the next Kyriopascha is in 2075.
  • As with Kyriopascha, Annunciation and Holy Friday can’t fall on the same day on the New Calendar. They can on the Old Calendar and Gregorian Calendar. When this pairing of holy days occurred in 1609, it resulted in one of the most sublime poems by John Donne, On the Annunciation and Passion Falling on the Same Day.

Cultural Celebrations

Secular events are generally scheduled without regard for the dates of Lent and Pascha. That’s understandable. But it means we have to pay attention.

  • Superbowl Sunday falls on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee in 2017.
  • The Kentucky Derby falls on Holy Saturday in 2021.
  • Valentine’s Day falls on Wednesday of Cheesefare Week in 2018. If you celebrate the day with your sweetheart, plan a meal that features lots of egg, butter, and cream. If it’s important to have steak or prime rib, plan to celebrate the day early.

Read more

Why Pascha Is When It Is: Why do we celebrate Pascha when we do? There’s more to it than the equinox, the full moon, and the Passover.

If you need the date of Pascha for a year that’s not on this page, try the Orthodox Paschal Calculator. You can enter any year from 1583 to 4099. The calculator will give you the date of Pascha and related holy days.

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