Welcome to the earliest (and for those of you in the UK, possibly frostiest) Easter Sunday that you will ever experience!
Did you know that...
• The cycle of Easter dates repeats every 5,700,000 years. During this period, Easter falls on March 23rd only 54,150 times (less than 1% of the total).
• The next time Easter will be this early will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913.
• Easter can be one day earlier (March 22), but that is extremely rare. The next time it will fall on March 22 will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818.
• Easter falls on March 28th in both 2027 and 2032, a gap of five years. No shorter interval is possible.
• Almost exactly half of our Easters occur on the same date 11 years later (but never more than four in a row). For example, Easter falls on March 31st in 1991, 2002, 2013 and 2024, but not in 2035.
• Consecutive Easters are always separated by 350, 357, 378, or 385 days (that's 50, 51, 54, or 55 weeks). For example, Easter 2008 is 350 days after Easter 2007, but 385 days before Easter 2009. So we've just had the shortest possible gap between Easters, and we're about to enter the longest.
• The last time Easter fell before the clocks went forward was in 1959 (back when the clocks changed to British Summer Time in mid-April, not March).
• The coldest recent UK Easter was in 1964. Over the weekend 27-29 March temperatures barely reached 6°C in southern and central parts of the country, and were accompanied by a raw easterly wind. This year may well be a new record.
• The snowiest recent UK Easter was in 1983. Over the weekend 1-3 April there was up to 10cm of snowfall in Scotland, the Midlands and Kent. The following Easters were all snowy: 1958, 1965, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1994, 1998 - and 2008. So much for Spring...
• Easter is not only a movable holiday but a multiple one: more often than not, Western Christian churches and Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on different dates. Orthodox Easter falls on April 27th this year.
• In 2009, Western and Orthodox Easters will fall just 1 week apart - Western Easter will fall on April 12th and Orthodox Easter on April 19th.
See here for more interesting facts about Easter.