Easter 2024: Why is holiday so early this year?

For millions of Christians, the Easter holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and occurs following a 40-day period known as Lent.

Easter Sunday also marks the end of Holy Week and the end of Lent.

But each year, Easter falls on a different day – and this year it’s coming a little early. 

In 2024, Easter falls on Sunday, March 31. But why is the holiday coming earlier than usual, and how is it determined? According to experts, it has to do with a full moon.

Why is Easter earlier this year?

The Easter holiday is one of several "moveable feasts" in the liturgical year. 


Easter eggs hang on an apple tree decorated with approximately 10,000 Easter eggs. (Credit: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

According to Almanac.com, Easter always occurs on the first Sunday after the Paschal Moon, which is specifically the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or after the March or spring equinox. Note that the spring equinox date used by the Christian Church is always March 21 to simplify matters.

RELATED: Egg prices are going up again ahead of Easter 2024

While Christmas is fixed to a solar calendar, Easter is based on the lunar cycles, so the date of Easter can vary.

Rest assured, the dates for Easter are calculated long in advance. See past and future Easter dates here.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.