The Metonic cycle.

Friday, April 10th, 2020

Ah, 2004, there was an Easter to remember, yeah, wow, right up there with the Easter of 1993. And 1982! Well, that was certainly…an Easter. 1971? Yep, unparalleled in its Easter-ness.

Before that, you’d have to go back to 1909, and I sure wasn’t alive then.

I’m not much on this particular Christian holiday (in fact, I’m not much on any religious holidays!) but this one keeps intersecting a day I do care about—although less and less each year—my birthday.

And yes, the first day of Passover has hit my birthday in 2017 and 1998. (Only twice? Huh.)

These old holidays, calculated using calendar systems that go (clearly) way way back blow my mind, because, for one thing, they’re complicated. Part of the Time and article’s explanation: “The date of the Paschal Full Moon, used to determine the date of Easter, is based on mathematical approximations following a 19-year cycle called the Metonic cycle.” This is not the writings of George R. R. Martin or James S. A. Corey or Arthur C. C. Clarke. (heh, heh.)

And according to this article, there’s apparently even a movement in the global Easter-celebrating community to change the calculus to “to replace an equation-based method of calculating Easter with direct astronomical observation.”

This year, missed it by one day. While the world will be celebrating Easter Eve (is that a thing? It’s got to be a thing)…I will be contemplating my achieving another trip around the sun. Eggs and rabbits will not be involved. Maybe a nice cheeseburger.