Easter and April Fools Day

Happy Easter to all of you out there who celebrate it and base your observance date on the Gregorian calendar! Happy April Fools Day to any of you out there who happen to enjoy that kind of thing!

I went on a Googling spree this morning because I couldn’t remember if these two dates had ever coincided before (or at least in my lifetime) and now I’ve learned all sorts of interesting facts about how often this happens. Even after 13 years of Baptist school I never quite got the hang of figuring out when Easter actually was going to be each year, so I realized I had no concept of how often it coincided with April Fools Day. Turns out it’s about 3-4 times/century, and the last time this happened was 1956.

I was curious if the 62 year gap was the longest gap that had taken place, but it turns out it’s not. That prize goes to the 68 year gap between 1736-1804. The shortest gap is 11 years, and it happens pretty frequently. For example, that’s the gap we have between this year and the next time the two days will coincide in 2029. The next one after that will be in 2040, and then not again until 2108.

Interestingly, for churches that adhere to the Julian calendar for scheduling Easter, the earliest Easter can be at this point is April 5th, so this won’t come up for them at all. If you’d like an overview of when Easter falls and why different churches put it on different days, try this link.

If you’d like to see one of the more amusing April Fools Day pranks done by a math teacher, watch this video:

Enjoy the day!